Thomas M. Thomson Managers always have been challenged to produce results, but the modern manager must produce them in a time of rapid technological and social change. Managers must be able to use this rapid change to produce their results; they must use the change and not be used or swallowed up by it. Both they and the organizations they manage need to anticipate change and set aggressive, forward-looking goals in order that they may ultimately begin to make change occur when and where they want it to and, in that way, gain greater control of their environments and their own destinies. The most important tool the manager has in setting and achieving forward-looking goals is people, and to achieve results with this tool the manager must: first, be able to instill in the workers a sense of vital commitment and desire to contribute to organizational goals; second, control and coordinate the efforts of the workers toward goal accomplishment; and, last, help his or her subordinates to grow in ability so that they can make greater contributions. In hopes of increasing individual production and contribution, managers have resorted to many different approaches: they have tried to get commitment and hard work through economic pressure and rewards; they have sought greater production by teaching the workers the best or most efficient ways to do a job; and they have tried to cajole their employees into a sense of well-being, hoping that their comfort would produce a desire to contribute. All these approaches had some success, but none succeeded totally in injecting enough of that element of vitality and adaptability into organizational life to allow it to thrive and remain viable in this age of change and sociotechnological turmoil.

The “Management by Objective” (MBO) approach, in the sense that it requires all managers to set specific objectives to be achieved in the future and encourages them to continually ask what more can be done, is offered as a partial answer to this question of organizational vitality and creativity. As a term, “Management by Objectives” was first used by Peter Drucker in 1954. As a management approach, it has been further developed by many management theoreticians, among them Douglas McGregor, George Odiorne, and John Humble. Essentially, MBO is a process or system designed for supervisory managers in which a manager and his or her subordinate sit down and
Originally published in The 1972 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by J. William Pfeiffer & John E. Jones (Eds.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company.

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jointly set specific objectives to be accomplished within a set time frame and for which the subordinate is then held directly responsible. All organizations exist for a purpose, and, to achieve that purpose, top management sets goals and objectives that are common to the whole organization. In organizations that are not using the MBO approach, most planning and objective setting to achieve these common organizational goals is directed downward. Plans and objectives are passed down from one managerial level to another, and subordinates are told what to do and what they will be held responsible for. The MBO approach injects an element of dialogue into the process of passing plans and objectives from one organizational level to another. The superior brings specific goals and measures for the subordinate to a meeting with this subordinate, who also brings specific objectives and measures that he or she sees as appropriate or contributing to better accomplishment of the job. Together they develop a group of specific goals, measures of achievement, and time frames in which the subordinate commits himself or herself to the accomplishment of those goals. The subordinate is then held responsible for the accomplishment of the goals. The manager and the subordinate may have occasional progress reviews and reevaluation meetings, but at the end of the set period of time, the subordinate is judged on the results the he or she has achieved. He or she may be rewarded for success by promotion or salary increases or he or she may be fired or transferred to a job that will provide needed training or supervision. Whatever the outcome, it will be based on the accomplishment of the goals the subordinate had some part in setting and committed himself or herself to achieving.

In practice, this MBO approach, of necessity, varies widely, especially in regard to how formalized and structured it is in a given organization and to what degree subordinates are allowed to set their own goals. In some organizations, MBO is a very formal management system with precise review scheduling, set evaluation techniques, and specific formats in which objectives and measures must be presented for review and discussion. In other organizations, it may be so informal as to be described simply as “we get together and decide what we’ve done and what we’re going to do.” However, in most organizations, MBO takes the form of formal objective setting and appraisal meetings held on a regular basis—often quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Even more situational than the degree of formality and structure is the degree to which a subordinate is allowed to set his or her own goals. In this regard, the kind of work that an organization does plays a large part in determining how much and on what level a subordinate will be allowed to participate in formulating his or her own goals. In some organizations a subordinate is almost told what he or she needs to do and is simply asked if he or she will commit to achieve that goal, while in others the subordinate is given great latitude and room for innovation. For example, there is a contrast between a production situation in which a supervisor informs a subordinate that so many widgets

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must be made over the next six months and simply asks which part of that production burden the subordinate is willing to shoulder and a university situation in which a department head informs a subordinate of the need to develop more community-oriented programs and asks how the subordinate thinks he or she can contribute to this goal. In the latter circumstance, the subordinate has much more room for innovation and personal contribution as well as a greater part in designing the specifics of the program than does the production worker who is simply asked which part of a very specific activity he or she cares to commit to.

No matter what form the MBO approach takes in a given organization, it is essentially a process that helps to (a) direct managers’ attention toward results, (b) force members of the organization to commit themselves to specific achievement, and (c) facilitate their thinking in terms of their organization’s future needs and the setting of objectives to meet those needs. In addition, the MBO approach can supply the manager with greater measures of three of the tools he or she needs to make the best use of the organization’s greatest resource: people. The manager can: 1. Gain greater commitment and desire to contribute from subordinates by (a) allowing them to feel that the objectives they are working toward were not just handed to them but are really theirs because they played a part in formulating them, (b) giving subordinates a better sense of where they fit in the organization by making clear how the subordinates’ objectives fit into the overall picture, and (c) injecting a vitality into organizational life that comes with the energy produced as a worker strives to achieve a goal to which he or she has taken the psychological and (sometimes economic) risk to commit. 2. Gain better control and coordination toward goal accomplishment by (a) having a clearer picture of who is doing what and how the parts all fit together, (b) having subordinates who are more likely to control and coordinate their own activities because they know what will help and what will hinder their goal achievement, and (c) being able to see which subordinates consistently produce and which do not. 3. Gain an increased ability to help subordinates develop by (a) being better able to see their strengths and weakness in operation on a specific objective and (b) using a management approach that teaches the subordinates (and the manager, for that matter) to think in terms of results in the future—an approach that teaches them to try to anticipate change, to define clear and specific objectives, and to delineate concrete measurements that will tell them when they have achieved their goals.

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MBO easily can be misused and often is. What is supposed to be a system that allows for dialogue and growth between boss and subordinate with a view to achieving results often degenerates into a system in which the boss puts constant pressure on the subordinate to produce results and forgets about using MBO for commitment, desire to contribute, and management development. Sometimes even well intentioned managers misuse MBO because they do not have the interpersonal skills or knowledge of human needs to keep their appraisal sessions from becoming critical, chewing-out periods. Finally, many managers have a tendency to see MBO as a total system that, once installed, can handle all management problems. This has led to forcing issues on the MBO system that it is not equipped to handle and that frustrate whatever good effects it might have on the issues with which it is designed to deal.

Drucker, P. (1954). The practice of management. New York: Harper & Row. Humble, J. (1968). Improving business results. New York: McGraw-Hill. Humble, J. (1970). Management by objectives in action. New York: McGraw-Hill. McGregor, D. (1966). Leadership and motivation. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press. Odiorne, G. (1970). Management by objectives. New York: Pitman. Reddin, W.J. (1971). Managerial effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Albert J. Robinson The first acquaintance with “X” and “Y” for many of us was as unknowns in Algebra I. During the decade of the sixties, “X” and “Y” took on some additional meanings for readers in the behavioral sciences and contemporary management thinking. In 1961, Douglas McGregor published The Human Side of Enterprise. This book was a major force in the application of behavioral science to management’s attempts to improve productivity in organizations. McGregor was trying to stimulate people to examine the reasons that underlie the way they try to influence human activity, particularly at work. He saw management thinking and activity as based on two very different sets of assumptions about people. These sets of assumptions, called X and Y, have come to be applied to management styles; e.g., an individual is a theory X manager or a theory Y manager. McGregor looked at the various approaches to managing people in organizations— not only industrial organizations but others as well—and in services, schools, and public agencies and concluded that the styles or approaches to management used by people in positions of authority could be examined and understood in light of those manager’s assumptions about people. He suggested that a manager’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness lay in the very subtle, frequently unconscious effects of the manager’s assumptions on his or her attempts to manage or influence others. As he looked at the behaviors, structures, systems, and policies set up in some organizations, McGregor found them contrary to information coming out of research at that time, information about human behavior and the behavior of people at work. It appeared that management was based on ways of looking at people that did not agree with what behavioral scientists knew and were learning about people as they went about their work in some, or perhaps most, organizations.

The traditional view of people, widely held, was labeled “X” and seemed to be based on the following set of assumptions: 1. The average human being has an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it if he or she can.

Originally published in The 1972 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by J. William Pfeiffer & John E. Jones (Eds.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Reprinted from The Human Side of Enterprise by D. McGregor, copyright © 1960 by McGraw-Hill, Inc. Reprinted with permission of McGraw-Hill, Inc.

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2. Because of this human characteristic of dislike for work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives. 3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all. Of course, these assumptions are not set out or stated, but if we examine how organizations are structured and how policies, procedures, and work rules established, we can see them operating. Job responsibilities are closely spelled out, goals are imposed without individual employee involvement or consideration, reward is contingent on working within the system, and punishment falls on those who deviate from the established rules. These factors all influence how people respond, but the underlying assumptions or reasons for them are seldom tested or even recognized as assumptions. The fact is that most people act as if their beliefs about human nature are correct and require no study or checking. This set of assumptions about people may result in very contrasting styles of management. We may see a “hard” or a “soft” approach to managing, but both approaches will be based on the ideas described above. One theory X manager may drive his employees at their work because he thinks that they are lazy and that this is the only way to get things done. Another may look at her employees in the same way, but she may think the way to get lazy people to work is to be nice to them, to coax productive activity out of them. This view of people was characteristic of the first half of the twentieth century, which had seen the effects of Frederick Taylor’s scientific-management school of thought. His focus had been on people as an aspect of the productive cycle—much like that of a piece of machinery—and it had allowed for advances in productivity. Yet it was out of this managerial climate—which tended to view people as an interchangeable part of a machine, as a machine element that was set in motion by the application of external forces—that the “human relations” view grew and the behavioral science school developed. I must hasten to add that the application of understandings of human behavior from the behavioral sciences is not an extension of the human relations focus of the 1940s and 1950s. These two grew up separately. One might construe that the human-relations view of handling people prevalent at that time was manipulative and merely a “soft” theory X approach.

Another view of people that is not necessarily the opposite extreme of “X” was called “Y” or theory Y. This set of assumptions about the nature of people, which influenced managerial behaviors, is described below.

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1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest. 2. External control and threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward organizational objectives. A person will exercise self-control in the service of objectives to which he or she is committed. 3. Commitment to objectives is dependent on rewards associated with their achievement. The most important rewards are those that satisfy needs for selfrespect and personal improvement. 4. The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept, but to seek responsibility. 5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population. 6. Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilized. It is important to realize that this is not a soft approach to managing human endeavor. Examined closely, it can be seen as a very demanding style: it sets high standards for all and expects people to reach for them. It is not only hard on the employee who may not have had any prior experience with the managerial behaviors resulting from these assumptions, but it also demands a very different way of acting from the supervisor or manager who has grown up under at least some of the theory X influences in our culture. Although we can intellectually understand and agree with some of these ideas, it is far more difficult to put them into practice. Risk taking is necessary on the part of the manager, for he or she must allow employees or subordinates to experiment with activities for which he or she may believe they do not presently have the capability. The learning and growth resulting from this opportunity may handsomely reward the risk. The focus of a theory Y manager is on the person as a growing, developing, learning being, while a theory X manager views the person as static, fully developed, and capable of little change. A theory X manager sets the parameters of his or her employees’ achievements by determining their potential in light of negative assumptions. A theory Y manager allows his or her people to test the limits of their capabilities and uses errors for learning better ways of operating rather than as clubs for forcing submission to the system. He or she structures work so that an employee can have a sense of accomplishment and personal growth. The motivation comes from the work itself and provides a much more powerful incentive than the “externals” of theory X. A suggestion for your consideration is to make the same assumptions about others that you make about yourself and then act in the appropriate manner. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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McGregor, D. (1961). The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill. McGregor, D. (1967). The professional manager (W.G. Bennis and C. McGregor, Eds.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Joan A. Stepsis A common frustration experienced by OD consultants and managers trained in new participatory-management strategies is the difficulty of introducing and institutionalizing these strategies in existing organizations. Whether dealing with business or industry, the military, government, or education, they find that attempts to substitute participatory management for the current management system frequently meet with resistance on every front within the organization—from top management to line workers. Although much has been written concerning such resistances to change, one relevant factor is often overlooked: the relationship between the management style and the level of current moral development within an organization. It is the level of moral development operating in a system that determines the basis on which its human interactions will be regulated—whether, for example, material gain, the maintenance and enhancement of the organization, or respect for individual needs and rights will receive priority in the decision-making process. The level of moral development determines how individuals relate to one another and to the organization around issues such as loyalty, competition versus cooperation, success, and productivity. Participatory management requires that individuals relate to one another at the highest levels of personal interaction of which human beings are presently known to be capable. Yet most managerial systems do not function at this level, and most individuals do not function at this level on a consistent basis either within the organization or in their daily lives. Therefore, participatory management asks all individuals in an organization to move to a higher level of human interaction. The change agent who introduces participatory management therefore is also introducing a new morality to the organization as a necessary concomitant to a new system of management.

A growing body of research looks not only at what people do but at the moral imperatives, values, and perspectives on human interrelatedness that underlie their moral judgments. For example, a poor man might choose to steal medicine for his sick child because he values his child’s right to life. Another man may choose not to steal the medicine his child needs because he fears the personal consequences of being caught. In
Originally published in The 1975 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by John E. Jones & J. William Pfeiffer (Eds.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company.

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such a case, the criminal, the man who stole, can be said to be functioning on a higher moral level than the man who did not steal. It is not only our behavior but the underlying rationale for it that reflects the level of moral development we have attained. Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or Piaget’s stages of intellectual development, moral development proceeds from the concrete to the abstract and from egocentrism to relativism. The following sequence is adapted from Kohlberg (1964, 1968). Level I: Preconventional Morality—Consequence Orientation Type 1. Physical consequences determine “good” and “bad” or “right” and “wrong.” Type 2. Motivation is the same as in Type 1, but reciprocity becomes important— “fairness,” “an eye for an eye.” Level II: Conventional Morality—Conformity Orientation Type 3. Good behavior is that which pleases or is approved of by the reference group. Type 4. Right behavior means upholding the social order by doing one’s duty. Level III: Postconventional Morality—Contract Orientation Type 5. “Right” and “wrong” are relative. Therefore, consensus agreements— contracts—are essential and reasonable. Type 6. Action is based on deep respect and regard for individual rights and equality of individuals— “Do unto others . . . .”

Level I: Preconventional Morality—Consequence Orientation
At the first level of moral development, the rationale underlying moral judgments emphasizes the direct consequences—rewards or punishments—to oneself of one’s actions (Type 1). Thus, the individual chooses his or her actions on this basis. In the latter part of this stage, the individual comes to understand the notion of reciprocity (Type 2). The “eye-for-an-eye” philosophy says that if you do something to me, it is only “fair” that you should suffer the same consequence. Direct, physical consequences, “fairness,” and revenge are the marks of the preconventional, consequence-morality orientation. This level reflects the morality of early and middle childhood, the Old Testament morality absorbed into our Western tradition, and the morality of many preliterate and semiliterate cultures of the past and the present. Yet this level is still apparent in some of our “modern” institutions—penal institutions and the criminal control system, for example.

Level II: Conventional Morality—Conformity Orientation
At the next level of moral development, conformity rather than consequences achieves prominence. Individuals are concerned with fitting into the social order, by acting in ways that either please a particular person or reference group (Type 3) or support and

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The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and of Watergate. That which is “right” and “good” is that which pleases relevant others—the boss.” doing one’s “duty”—all have powerful appeal at this level. inquisitions. Obviously this is the level at which many organizations and institutions in our society—especially in government and the military but also in business. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 11 . Level III: Postconventional Morality—Contract Orientation The highest level of moral development emphasizes the idea of negotiated contracts between and among individuals. Even organizations established for Level I motivations—reward and profit— commonly evolve a structure in which loyalty to the company and maintenance of the corporate image may take precedence over productive work. and education—wish their members to function. religion. the rights of individuals often are subverted. IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANNED CHANGE In our current world. and lifestyle of the group. “Law and order. It is also the morality of adolescence. and the relativity of “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad” (Type 5).. God. ideologies (e. If the institutions that have the most influence during childhood—the family and the school—fail to provide either exposure to Level III-models or the opportunity needed to practice skills essential to Level III-performance. the institutions that they must enter outside the family are apt to require behavior that conforms to Level II.g.maintain the current reference group and its way of life (Type 4). 2nd Edition. the country. or serving human needs. Ends justify means. The self-maintenance of organizations becomes more important than service. the organization. People at this level recognize individual rights. customs. Level II tends to perpetuate itself in our organizations and institutions. right or wrong. industry. when moral judgments were made on the assumption that the continuance of the existing administration and the prevailing system of government were more important than the rights of individuals. At this stage. they believe that interactions among people need to be regulated by social contracts that represent win-win solutions to mutual problems and that protect the representation of minorities in the decision-making process. action is based on respect and regard for the dignity of each human life (Type 6). Thus. In the process of saving the world for democracy.” “my country. the majority of individuals cannot be expected to develop beyond Level II. Even if children are fortunate enough to grow up in a Level-III household. members of the gang—or that which tends to uphold the mores. democracy) reflecting a Level III morality are commonly fated to be institutionalized at Level II. Therefore. crusades. and the end is to uphold the relevant social order. Perpetuation of Level II That the majority of our institutions function at Level II (or below) should not be surprising. battling imperialism. the equality of individuals.

Psychology Today. which reflects and requires a Level III morality. Olver. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The child as a moral philosopher. provides an opportunity for individuals to develop a new style of interaction with others. The 1973 annual handbook for group facilitators. (1964). then. 2(4). New York: Russell Sage. Some implications of value clarification for organization development. Resistance is an understandable response to change of this magnitude. However. (1966). P.W. L. most individuals in our society should be capable of Level-III interactions by early to mid-adolescence.. San Diego. L. In J. In M. M.Having achieved an adequate level of intellectual development. (1973). by age sixteen only about a third of the adolescents questioned gave Level-III responses on issues of moral judgment.. Studies in cognitive growth. CONCLUSION Participatory management.S. 24-30. Kohlberg. Pfeiffer (Eds. that surfacing this resistance and resolving it are integral parts of the process of introducing participatory management into an organization. REFERENCES Bruner. 2nd Edition. Kohlberg. Development of moral character & ideology.).E. R. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Review of child development research. (1968). J. & Greenfield.L. Hoffman (Ed. in reality. New York: John Wiley. as a study by Kohlberg (1968) shows. Smith. It also offers the organization the chance to move from a Level-II conformity orientation to a Level-III contract orientation. Jones & J. 12 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.). It becomes apparent.

1969. and the Vatican State. Originally published in The 1975 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by John E.). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” which has become popular in American management in the past decade. 1972). 2nd Edition. Patten. or program. The organizational concept of the “presidential office. Portugal. For example. recognizes the need for subdividing the chief executive’s responsibilities among a skilled group of key managers who can. 1965). William Pfeiffer (Eds. However. and organization development (OD) assistance is needed to forge competent and divergent individuals into a team. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. had blue books (blue-covered Parliamentary publications) and white papers (less extensive reports covering governmental affairs and policy). in which the white paper. the OD white paper has occasionally been used to articulate a conscious and deliberate strategy of objectives and time perspectives for goal attainment within an organization (Bennis. Often. In this approach. A white book—an official published report of governmental affairs. former President Richard M. Jr. this presumption is faulty. The point is that white papers often are looked on with suspicion because they seem to rationalize situations that preferably should be confronted. Czechoslovakia. beginning with teams at the top of the organizational structure (Daniel. 1967). however. 1973. ORIGINS OF THE “WHITE PAPER” The term “white paper” as used in OD practice derives its name from governmental and political spheres. instead. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 13 .„‚ THE WHITE PAPER: A TOOL FOR OD Thomas H. although the document satisfied almost no one who critically examined it. USES OF THE WHITE PAPER Governmental white papers have been used at times to “whitewash” people who allegedly erred or were corrupt or to sever relations with a past policy. regime. Many organizations with OD programs have moved from initial interventions using T-groups into system-wide team building. or white book. Great Britain. presumably. Davis. San Diego. Jones & J. to disprove through a lengthy white paper the allegations of unlawful actions in the Watergate affair was an effort to separate himself from past policy and action. function as a team (Vance. bound in white—was commonly found in past centuries in Germany. the white paper deserves greater attention than it has been given to date as a strategic intervention. originated. Japan. Nixon’s attempt on May 22.

Few business firms have such constitutions (Brown. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the process of developing a white paper turns possibly destructive energy and effort into positive feelings. such as “New Directions in Human Resource Management in the Wesmar Company” (with perhaps the subtitle “A White Paper”). The effort invested in the production of a white paper also can enable the developers to learn about one another. It encourages top management to begin the task of building unity where previously there was vagueness. and flow charts may be used to clarify content. and to lay the necessary groundwork for eventual managerial-team formation. Usually it is a tentative statement of intentions or a brief charter. 1960). or even bitter conflict. the white paper contains a minimum of several components: s A title indicating it is a unique document. Components of a White Paper There is no one form that a white paper must take. Diagrams. The most salient characteristics of an OD white paper are that it serves as a focal point for the direction of energy and that it can provide those who develop the white paper with a product about which they can have ownership feelings. A white paper can thus build morale as well as be a technical tool for organization development. the work setting.THE OD WHITE PAPER In contrast. the OD white paper reflects a consensus on organizational policies and goals. the OD white paper sets directions for an organization. A statement of the purpose(s) of the white paper and the person(s) who authorized its development. organizational charts. s s s s 14 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. but statistical data would rarely be used unless they were incontrovertible. or perhaps a full constitution. and items that find their way into the numerous manuals maintained in work organizations. compensation. Identification of the person(s) who prepared the white paper. but many have charters (Zollitsch & Langsner. open. contracts or agreements. Articulation of the values and beliefs of the people who prepared the paper. dissension. Short and undetailed. to learn how to learn. In this sense. constructive. The substance of the white paper itself. 2nd Edition. and clear in intent. and just or humane treatment of employees. and how long the task took. Intended as a beginning rather than an end in an OD program. occasionally it is a mandate. the OD white paper often is developed by a topmanagement team acting as an ad hoc task force. to distinguish it from personnel policy statements. which can be wide-ranging in content but is always frank. extended policy statement. However. 1970) and statements of intent or beliefs about people. letters of understanding. where and when it was prepared.

A token white paper is inconsistent with OD values of openness.A white paper is not likely to be a polished or meticulous statement of rules. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Therefore. stimulating managers with divergent views. 2nd Edition. the white paper must also be malleable if it is to last any appreciable amount of time. Token OD White Papers It is important that the white paper not be illegitimately used as an energy drain by top management. to protect individuals’ enthusiasm and willingness. be considered by OD practitioners in utilizing the white paper as an intervention. LIFE CYCLE OF WHITE PAPERS There is no reason that an OD white paper should be inflexible and indelible. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UTILIZATION Until additional empirical reports are obtained on the use of OD white papers. rather. its influence in an organization is likely to spread. when top management’s hidden agenda is to gain time and dissipate troublesome energy. the white paper should not be used as a short-range safety valve to gain time but. In other words. it is suggested that the following recommendations. based on current behavioral science thinking. trust. Although a successful OD intervention using a white paper will have a relatively short life cycle. and practices because it is intended to be a prelude to action rather than a detailed blueprint. regulations. procedures. Even though such behavior may be functional for top management. and a genuine problem-solving orientation and may be potentially destructive of interpersonal relationships among people who must work together. The efficacy of a white paper depends on its acceptance by top management and on managers’ commitment and openness when using the white paper as an OD tool. Its essence is its energizing effect coupled with its emotional affect. A wag once remarked that the last act of a dying organization is to rewrite the rule book. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 15 . The same desperation can be seen in organizations that try to reset organizational directions by refurbishing a defunct white paper. it is dysfunctional for the task force and other affected managers and employees. and expectations to join together in its support. it is vital that their energy be channeled in directions endorsed by top management. feelings. if an organization has debased the white paper as an OD tool. it will not only be unable to renovate a defunct white paper but also will find severe difficulties in reestablishing an authentic use for the white paper. If successful. Moreover. should be used as an energizing device useful in choosing a direction and subject to modification consistent with changing conditions. One example would be to assign change seekers to produce a white paper.

involving such prominent OD practitioners as Chris Argyris. William Crockett. a beginning rather than an end in an OD effort. cooperation. 1973). The white paper should be regarded as a living document subject to change. which are implicit in contemporary humanistic work environments. and help to prevent an untimely demise for incumbent management. rather. It can aid in organizational renewal. 5. 4. Marrow. Managers should be committed to a serious consideration of the white paper to be produced. clear the air for the advent of needed change. and malleability. or outsiders. it should be possible to link all three forces to produce change by appointing a task force to develop a white paper. 2nd Edition. 6. a problem-solving orientation.S. as a forthright. not as a dead report produced for the files or as a defensive justification. The white paper as an OD intervention must be introduced. A white paper should be developed by a task force of managers and employees who possess the knowledge and experiences relevant to appropriate goal setting and task accomplishment and who are motivated to seek improvement in an organization. 3. A white paper should be regarded as short-lived. Alfred J. openness. The white paper requires involvement and commitment from its developers. 7. and utilized in ways that are consistent with values such as trust. Top management should understand and support this organizational implication of a white paper. If they cannot be changed solely by either top management. and Harry Levinson (Levinson. The use of a white paper as a tool for organizational change should be publicly and staunchly supported by the top management (power-holders) in an organization. 2. More effective white papers are likely to come from 16 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Such was the case in an important OD intervention for the U. CONCLUSION The OD white paper is intended not as a whitewash (as it has sometimes been used in government) but. More data on the use of the white paper as an intervention strategy would be a welcome contribution to OD literature. A white paper need not be complete in detail but it should be clear in intent. Department of State in the mid 1960s. insiders. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . A white paper can thus be used initially for fostering greater cooperation. authenticity. although not necessarily to its uncritical implementation. Bureaucracies are resistant to pressures for change. Developing its details of implementation may provide the opportunity for indepth team building at various organizational levels. A white paper should reflect a consensus to which the task force is committed and which it is prepared to advocate.1. fresh statement of consensus that can energize a team to marshal the resources of an organization and move toward old or new organizational goals. developed.

The value assumptions of Theory Y behavior apply to the development of white papers. Zollitsch.G. California Management Review. 9-10. Harvard University. 15(1). (1972). An organic problem-solving method of organizational change. & Langsner. England: Penguin. (1967). Harvard Business Review. (1970). S. Brown. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 17 .. R. Team at the top. Toward a collegial office of the president. (1960). S. (1965). H. W. 106-116. Daniel. OH: Southwestern. Levinson.). origins.D. A. (1969). Organization development: Its nature. 3(1). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. Davis. & prospects. Reading. H.G. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. MA: Addison-Wesley. Wage and salary administration (2nd ed.C. Exploration in management.A. Boston: Graduate School of Business Administration. (1973). W. The great jackass fallacy. Cincinnati. Vance. Hammondsworth. REFERENCES Bennis. However. It is hoped that more such information will emerge in the years ahead.people competent in interpersonal relations who are open with one another and who are committed to a problem-solving and creative approach. few OD practitioners have reported in depth the longitudinal data needed about effective and ineffective uses of white papers in OD. 74-82. 43(2).

it is essential to understand the nature of leadership and the ways in which we can improve it. there was minimal agreement among researchers as to what those distinguishing traits were. No one really seems to know what “good leadership” is (Lumsden. 1974). PREVIOUS APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP There are several approaches that have been prominent in research concerned with the determinants of leadership. The Trait Approach The first concentrated attempt to define the factors that result in leadership was the “trait approach.). Unfortunately.” and “What is the best method of training leaders?” As a result of the many different orientations. The lists of “definitive qualities of leaders” were almost as numerous as the researchers who constructed them.” “What are the variables that affect the emergence and maintenance of leadership in problemsolving groups?. A great deal of attention has been directed toward questions such as “What are the characteristics of task leaders?. The “trait approach. Of several hundred traits studied. 18 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Nevertheless. Originally published in The 1976 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by J. there is a lack of consistency in research findings about leadership. not made. 34). The trait approach is unsatisfactory because it implies that leaders are born.” Enormous amounts of time and effort were devoted to constructing lists of the physical and psychological attributes believed to differentiate leaders from nonleaders. 2nd Edition. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . only a very few were consistently correlated with leadership (Shaw. however. San Diego.„‚ LEADERSHIP AS PERSUASION AND ADAPTATION Julia T. Wood Group leadership has been of interest to scholars and practitioners in the social sciences since people first began studying their own behaviors.” the “situational approach. 1971). William Pfeiffer & John E. Jones (Eds.” and the “contingency model” have been proposed as explanations of the factors that determine leadership in small groups. Gouldner (1950) reviewed the empirical investigations related to leadership traits and concluded that “there is no reliable evidence concerning the existence of universal leadership traits” (p.” the “follower approach.

then. Weschler. The major claim of the situational approach is that different leadership skills are required in different situations. The situational characteristics are viewed as the determinants of leadership. Nevertheless. The Contingency Model By combining ideas from the situational approach and the study of leadership styles. 2. 1950. This model maintains that effective leadership depends not only on a leader’s personal style but also on the characteristics of a situation. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The contingency model is an exciting step in our understanding of leadership. not of their own abilities. The members’ needs are assumed to be the key determinants of leadership. is that it implies that leaders are born of situations. the crucial determinant of leadership is the social environment in which leadership is needed. is a coincidence between the needs of a membership and the abilities that a person happens to possess. is unsatisfying because it ignores the leader’s personal ability to control himself or herself and the situation. The follower approach is inadequate because it implies that the emergence and maintenance of leadership is dependent on followers. this model. The Follower Approach Although the situational approach is currently endorsed by many researchers. 1964). a third orientation to leadership has received some acceptance. 3. The deficiency of this approach. because it refutes the simplistic and one dimensional explanations of the earlier approaches. „‚ 19 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. it is helpful to identify the assumptions on which they are based.” holds that it is the social circumstances that command the degree to which any person’s leadership potential is exercised. The situational approach assumes that certain situations call for certain types of leadership and that the leaders will be those who best fit the requirements of a situation. not on a leader’s own skills. too. & Massarik. 1974). The “follower approach” maintains that the most effective leaders are those most able to satisfy the needs or desires of a group of followers (Sanford. however. The trait approach maintains that a person either does or does not possess the particular traits that are considered to be the determinants of leadership. the “situational approach. Tannenbaum. a fourth approach to leadership was developed (Fiedler. Leadership. Assumptions of Four Approaches In order to understand more fully these four approaches to small-group leadership. According to this approach. 1.The Situational Approach A second perspective on leadership. The follower approach holds that the needs of group members determine who will lead.

The Persuasive Process Leading is an active process that involves making choices regarding behaviors. is inaccurate. and the membership through the use of symbolic behavior.4. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . adapt his or her behavior in order to enhance his or her effectiveness. Leading is a process. it becomes clear that a useful theory of leadership must be similarly dynamic. By considering a rhetorical perspective on the process of leading. The leader has the potential to control himself or herself. A rhetorical perspective on leadership. Once we acknowledge this dynamic nature of small groups. A static conception of leadership. The contingency model maintains that personal styles and situational characteristics combine to determine leadership. then. a leader exerts influence and. for the individuals in the group. by the methods he or she employs in directing the group’s tasks. like any other human being. 2nd Edition. and for the group as a whole. Presumably. at least implicitly. A rhetorical perspective on small-group leadership rejects claims that there are static determinants of leadership. therefore. ruling out the possibility that a leader can. is characterized by two features: (1) the persuasive nature of the leading process and (2) the recognition that humans can control their environments by adapting to social circumstances. and by the manner in which he or she relates to the group members. the ways in which others respond to them. A “proper match” between styles and situations determines who will lead a group. we can focus on the dynamic nature of leadership and the possibilities for human control over contingent situations. A leader’s choices influence the members’ evaluation of him or her and they. influence the group’s success in reaching collective goals. These assumptions show that each of the four major approaches to leadership shares a basic orientation: each approach maintains. The leader of a small group inevitably effects persuasions by the ways in which he or she chooses to present himself or herself. Small groups are characterized by contingencies—by a lack of certainty regarding events that may occur. the situation. beginning with the writings of ancient thinkers such as Aristotle and Cicero. a quality that can be isolated and described apart from leaders who operate in particular group situations. engages in persuasion. A leader’s active involvement in the small-group process has been overlooked. 20 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. that there is a static quality to leadership. therefore. a leader has goals for himself or herself. rhetoric is based on the belief that humans can control their effectiveness through the discovery and management of behaviors that take place in relation to other people. By selecting and implementing behavioral strategies that are designed to lead to these goals. a persuasive process in which a leader achieves effectiveness by the careful selection and management of his or her actions within a particular group situation. in turn. therefore. A RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON LEADERSHIP As a philosophy of human action. Humans are seen as purposeful agents who can consciously control their own actions and.

We must recognize that leaders. Control Through Adaptation A rhetorical perspective on leading also emphasizes the possibility that humans can control their environments through sensitive adaptation. to commit themselves to collective goals. when Ford’s “down-home” presentation became the target of criticism and even ridicule. Even the most democratic behaviors are persuasions that reflect a leader’s choice of effective behaviors to guide the group. He had to adjust his leadership so that it was more relaxed and person centered. to perceive their situation as one in which his or her guidance is desirable or necessary. their memberships. Some people. People are capable of adjusting themselves in order to be more effective in relation to others. for example. he began to shift his image. a leader is exercising influence: he or she engenders in the group members a certain perception of the leader as a leader and of themselves as members of the leader’s group. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . These are only two examples of figures whose leadership behaviors are best understood from a rhetorical perspective. and group situations are all flexible and that a rhetorical sensitivity to the methods of persuasion can enhance most people’s abilities to lead well. it is assumed that a leader can persuade the group members to need what he or she has to offer. members. When Gerald Ford first became President. his tightly controlled. Leaders’ capacities for adapting themselves and their situations through the deliberate management of their „‚ 21 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. authoritative approach was no longer popular with employees. Perhaps an example or two will help to clarify the view that leaders can adjust themselves. However. persist in claiming that democratic behaviors are not really influences because they imply a “sharing of control.The persuasive nature of the leading process has not always been recognized. Therefore. altering his self-presentation in ways that he presumably believed to be acceptable or desirable to the voting public. in taking over a firm that had degenerated into chaos. and to work together in a satisfactory manner. When the company was on the road to recovery. he chose to present himself as a simple.” Yet. In this orientation. Ford’s apparent honesty and openness were welcomed by a nation weary of deceit and secrecy. identifying and studying the choices of persuasion that must be made by a leader become important: What types of influence does the leader wish to exert? Whom does he or she need to persuade? How do his or her particular choices affect members’ perceptions of him or her and of themselves? How are various persuasive effects achieved by a leader? Leaders should be trained to be aware of these choices and to estimate the probable effects of various choices on collective goals. honest man. however. A leader cannot avoid influencing the group. was at first appreciated and praised for his firmness and positive decision making. He made more definitive statements and took stronger positions on issues of national policy. to value the skills that he or she possesses. 2nd Edition. and their situations in order to lead more effectively. in choosing to act democratically and not to dominate actively. After the criminal and demoralizing events of Watergate. A newly promoted company president.

how they maintain their power.behaviors toward others should be emphasized. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Small group communication: A reader (2nd ed. Brown. it offers potential leaders a useful way of thinking about themselves in relation to a group and its task.. and how they build effective. leaders would be able to plan actions that would probably be effective in their particular circumstances. Advances in experimental social psychology. Unlike previous methods of training. 2nd Edition. 270. Samovar (Eds. 22 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.). Potential leaders would be able to assess the interplay among the forces of themselves. offers a useful method of analysis for leaders of problemsolving groups. a rhetorical approach does not provide any “recipes” for success. Winter). VALUE OF A RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE A rhetorical perspective on leadership offers a realistic and useful means for understanding how leaders emerge.). Lumsden. Berkowitz (Ed. Shaw. A. PA: Institute for Research in Human Relations. Every group situation is different.).A. A contingency model of leadership effectiveness. F. Tannenbaum. In L. & Massarik. Instead. Philadelphia. and their group situations. Authoritarianism and leadership. (1954).. G. (1974.S. their group members. the rules must vary according to the situations and the people involved. viewed as a process of persuasion and adaptation. New York: McGraw-Hill. Sanford. Cathcart & L. their goals. 25. By viewing themselves from a rhetorical perspective. IA: William C. Given a rhetorical orientation to their work. Such adaptation is desirable as long as it neither jeopardizes one’s personal integrity nor results in unethical behavior toward others. A second value of a rhetorical perspective is its potential as a strategy for training leaders. REFERENCES Fiedler. New York: Academic Press. Weschler. Dubuque. R.). In R.H. (1950).E. An experimental study of the effect of verbal agreement on leadership maintenance in problem-solving discussion. F. (1971). New York: Harper & Row. Leadership: A frame of reference. I. (1950). (Ed. Gouldner. Studies in leadership. Group dynamics: The psychology of small group behavior. M. Central States Speech Journal. A rhetorical perspective on leadership.R. (1974). leaders could analyze their own behaviors and the situations in which they are to lead. F.E. cohesive groups.

they agree that the boss has the right to the amount and type of control being exerted. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. organized. as well as be useful for leadership development programs and for application by leaders in formal organizations. staffed. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 23 . the subordinate will experience “excitement” toward the work to be done.„‚ A PRACTICAL LEADERSHIP PARADIGM Timothy A. is that this authority often does not exist or else breaks down to some degree. material. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. organizing. San Diego. Management can be described as the planning. each of these can be planned. The subordinate willingly complies. rewards. This assumes that all relevant factors. integrated. Context Leadership. Boone A conceptual framework can help to explain leadership as a concept. This consensual agreement may be assumed to be in the initial employment contract but usually it is not. The resources available to management are time. directing. When this ideal authority structure exists. The reality of organizations. can be led. But only one of these resources. and controlled.). and meaningfulness of work to the individual. Leadership is the “extra something” that managers must be able to do if they are to be successful in achieving organizational goals. such as motivation. are either explicitly or implicitly a part of the consensual agreement. William Pfeiffer (Eds. as it is discussed here. and people. money. directed. AUTHORITARIAN STRUCTURE OF ORGANIZATIONS Formal organizations typically are structured in such a manner as to be controlled by authority invested either in a role or in a person. Originally published in The 1977 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by John E. Jones & J. however. integrating. and controlling of resources. 2nd Edition. Simply. Leadership is a unique control behavior that is directed to the management of human resources. is a special application of management. staffing. Authority in its most ideal sense is an investment of power in a structure that allows superordinates and subordinates consensually to agree on the need for control and that permits both groups to achieve their own and the organization’s goals through that control. people.

these consensual agreements typically do not last for long periods of time. in such cases the boss has no power. few other control mechanisms are necessary. LEADERSHIP Some form of management behavior is necessary to set effective goals and to establish and maintain authority with subordinates. Excitement directed at the boss is excitement that could perhaps be more productive for the organization and the individual if directed positively toward work.Power History and our common experience have shown that nearly all formal organizations use an important adjunct to authority—commonly referred to as power—to control subordinates’ behavior when authority breaks down. Although this power appears to create order from the chaos of 24 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. This power can be a useful way of controlling subordinates in the short run. it is often ineffective in either the short term or long term because it coerces people to do what is wanted. the need for this negotiation and renegotiation is constant. If the boss is perceived as able to control rewards and punishments. To some people in some situations. at the least. subordinates behave in ways that are often misunderstood by management and are used as justification for the use of power—as when the tardy employee is suspended from work for three days. the sanctions controlled by the boss may be inconsequential. These goals can be viewed as targets toward which people in the organization can aim. then he or she has power. Power. If individuals can see that their goals will be met through work that also achieves organizational goals. Goal clarification for organizations and individuals and management-byobjectives programs are designed to capitalize on this principle. regardless of its basis. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Goals Another way of creating “excitement” between workers and work is through goals. Through no fault of either party. Although power may be used. Leadership behavior focuses on enhancing the relationships of the people involved in the directed task so that these relationships can be used to negotiate a creative. The use of power may also have negative long-term effects because it increases dependence on the part of subordinates. which may. a gap is created between the present state of affairs and some desired end or goal. roles. control will not be reliable from situation to situation. When goals are set and internalized. Leadership is an alternative form of managerial behavior that can be used in the absence of clear authority and that will get the job done. Owing to continual environmental and individual change. consensual agreement about the goals. 2nd Edition. inhibit creativity and develop negative feelings of “excitement” between the subordinate and the boss. When the agreement breaks down and authority is challenged. and norms required. is the sanctions or threat of sanctions that a subordinate perceives a boss as having in a situation. but because power really depends on the subordinates’ perception of power more than it does on the boss’s.

” or may be overtly rebellious. This behavior may be passive-aggressive. are so complex (as are the basic social group dynamics) that analysis is impractical except for academic purposes.” It is possible that the factors described by other researchers are somehow incorporated into Schutz’s three stages of group development. this order is only temporary. such as absenteeism. Subordinates have varying degrees of skill and knowledge. it is essential that managers who want to use leadership behavior to enhance their organizations be willing to take the “risk” of sharing their power with subordinates. psychological maturity. quitting. and like all humans. which makes it easier for the manager to influence subordinates and trust their intentions to do well for the organization. sharing power is not a panacea or an effortless way of managing. it invariably will result in increased authority. and other participative decisionmaking techniques that allow subordinates to experience their ability to influence management—are necessary if a new “win-win” contract is to be negotiated. they will make mistakes that require honest renegotiations and development. such a balance can be very threatening to a boss who is insecure about his or her own power because he or she has not learned to share it constructively. Schutz’s stages of group development are useful predictors of the type of managerial-control behavior that has the highest probability of being successful in maintaining or creating win-win authority situations that lead to organizational effectiveness when combined with the basic principle of “meet them where they are. A win-win agreement is necessary for maximum organizational effectiveness because “losers” will predictably attempt to balance their losses by means of behavior that is detrimental to the organization. paraphrasing. For this reason. 2nd Edition. For this reason. However. SITUATIONAL FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION An alternative that. although perhaps not as rigorous as a detailed analysis of complex situations. knowledge. if done honestly. The factors that determine any given situation. has proven useful to me is the assessment of the boss/subordinate relationship in terms of Will Schutz’s FIRO theory of group development. These reactions may be either individual or collective and conscious or unconscious. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The norms of the work group will be a major factor in determining the exact behaviors expressed. The effective leader is one who can use a combination of power and leadership with the exact percentage mix to meet the needs of the infinitely varying situations that will arise on the job. such as environment. The apparent paradox of this “giving up” of power is that. such as “accidents” or “sickness. Leadership practices— such as active listening. or strikes. These „‚ 25 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. there is no fixed “style” or way of managing people that will always be effective.reduced authority. and organizational climate. However. Shared Power Leadership behavior that is nondirective and participatory allows subordinates to experience a balance of power with the boss. skill. This theory can be used to understand both pair and group relationships.

the leader must accept the issue as real for the individual and help him or her to face it squarely. Here also is the key to reduced “excitement” between boss and subordinate. 2nd Edition. therefore. or a change of task. All parties must confront their fears honestly and share them. To help an individual successfully resolve this issue. Herein lies the apparent paradox that keeps so many people from being able to resolve this issue. however. a change of people in the group. inclusion. conversation in the relationship can be characterized as superficial “cocktail party” talk. this can best be done efficiently by using some form of power to structure a situation in which the individual must openly risk belonging or not belonging. risk taking is the only way to resolve the issue. They want to be close and open. This talk is. Successful resolution of the control issue allows the relationship to move into the third stage. Once again. control. can and will cause a recycling of the stages of development. control. boasting about credentials. When the issue of control is honestly worked through. This issue is expressed in the question “How close/honest can we be?” In this stage. This open closeness provides the setting for creativity and increased mutual understanding and growth. the resolution of the issue is exponentially more difficult. During this stage. the stage is now set for task-related issues to be focused on in a creative way. centers around the question “How much am I going to let my environment control me?” This can be a very real issue for both boss and subordinate. people experience a sense of joy in their relationships. However. Examples of this concern are quitting. Generally. which are expressions of three basic human needs. This issue. This act in itself reduces the apparent imbalance of power between boss and subordinate. occurs when an individual or the group behaves in ways that indicate concern about belonging or not belonging in the relationship. There is no utopian wonderland at which we finally “arrive. are inclusion. all parties realize that the initial question is moot. Once the clear choice is made. people may discover that they are experiencing inclusion or control feelings once again. however. the people involved can learn how to facilitate the process more effectively. and consideration of the costs and benefits of being in the group or relationship. affection or openness.” The cycle is the cycle of life and goes on eternally in our culture. This can be a 26 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. anxiety about others’ (or one’s own) skills and knowledge. Suddenly. and affection (later changed to “openness”). each time a relationship goes through the cycle. the individual or group is then free to move on to the second major issue of group development. The three stages occur in a predictable cycle in the order listed and tend to recycle frequently. We are always in control as long as we do not try to be in control. extremely serious beneath its apparent superficiality. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . such as a change in the environment in which the relationship exists. The first stage. The requirement in this situation is once again to take the risk to deal openly with the issues at hand. A great deal of excitement may still be directed toward the relationships rather than toward work. Constancy of Change Any change in the situation.stages.

in practice. VA: Human Resources Research Organization. it requires courage and dedication. Englewood Cliffs. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.R. CA: Science & Behavior Books.R. REFERENCES Fiedler. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 27 . & Fernandez. however. F. W. Leadership and exchange in formal organizations. (1976).H. R. (1966). But its payoffs provide special meaning for those who are willing to take the risk. Schutz. The more willing bosses are to help their subordinates and themselves to work through the issues honestly. San Diego. Leadership and social change (2nd ed. Management of organizational behavior (2nd ed.). (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. NJ: Prentice-Hall. W. It is my experience that with each cycle through the stages.O. & Blanchard. positive power in the form of rewards may be more effective than punishment in helping the person gain the strength to grow.E. Authority exists when conflict is resolved into a consensual agreement between boss and subordinate within the boundaries of their relationship. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. SUMMARY Leadership is a special way of behaving that in certain situations can be of great value.C. (1972). The interpersonal underworld. This may be to the organization’s benefit.. K. 2nd Edition. Palo Alto. Lassey. Hersey. T. it can be a seemingly chaotic and frightening experience for all concerned. P. Alexandria. the use of power may be the only way in which authority can be maintained or supplemented. Leadership as a special function in the management of people is not simple or safe. Some will choose to leave rather than to face the realities of organizational life. Jacobs. All people may not be ready for this type of growth. not only in resolving organization conflicts and weaknesses but also in building strengths.).very special and valuable role for the leader/manager. more excitement is available to be directed toward the work at hand. In theory it sounds simple and safe. New York: McGraw-Hill.. For those who are not. the more they will find that the productive purpose of the organization will be achieved. (1970). FIRO theory provides a way of rapidly diagnosing a situation in order for managers to be able to select and apply behavior that has the highest probability of achieving their goals in that situation. If this is the case.

„‚ AN OVERVIEW OF TEN MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL THEORISTS Marshall Sashkin What is called for is a complete mental revolution on the part of workers and on the part of managers. 1 See “Hearings Before Special Committee of the House of Representatives . Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . etc.) Historical Management Theory (Pre-1900) Ancient organizations were considerably more simple than those in which we live and work today. it is possible to really understand what a theory is “all about” only if one has some understanding of the individual who created it. Originally published in The 1981 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by John E. The latter. the father of “scientific management” and a man whom one would never describe as a “humanist” after even a casual inspection of his words and deeds. in a very old text. such that both take their eyes off the division of profit and together turn toward increasing the size of the profit. although it is not possible to fully describe or explore the creative. Most texts cover the details of various management theories reasonably well. 2nd Edition. Such a system becomes unwieldy when two conditions occur: (a) the group size increases beyond a dozen or so and (b) the work to be done becomes more complicated than the most primitive of tasks (foraging for food.). how they behaved (or are reported to have behaved). and so on. ruled by a religious leader-authority figure who is obeyed by all.). until it becomes so large that it is unnecessary to quarrel over how it shall be divided. according to Argyris (1976). and the consistency (or lack of it) between each individual’s thoughts and actions. 28 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. So. tells much about the person. The archetype is the tribe. This comparison will be made in the context of the historical periods in which these various individuals lived and worked and will focus on the periods of their greatest influence. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Thus. complex people who developed the theories and approaches discussed in this brief article. William Pfeiffer (Eds. San Diego.” in reference list. defining Weber’s elements of bureaucracy. even humanistic. we find a clear description of organizational change. it is derived from the writing of Frederick Taylor. the Bible. . it is possible—and should be interesting—to look at what they said. However. (Table 1 shows the chronological progression of these influences. . setting up shelters. Although the comment may sound idealistic. explaining the nature of Taylor’s “scientific management” and Fayol’s “basic functions” of management. Jones & J.1 The above statement is paraphrased from one of the ten management and organizational theorists who will be discussed in this article.

Dickson Douglas McGregor Rensis Likert Fred Emery and Eric Trist Moses found that he could not cope with being the only leader of the Israelites. So he named a group of leaders. Figure 1 depicts this similarity. but it is important to note that hierarchies taller than Moses’ were rare in the ancient world. the Roman armies and others usually contained captains who led anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred men.” there was a leader of tens of tens. the hierarchical structure that is characteristic of most organizations is even older than the one developed by Moses. Thus. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 29 . an early hierarchy was developed. 2nd Edition. For every ten “leaders of tens. and even in the last century. This article will present these three men in an artificial order. Of course. It could not accommodate the complex interdependencies with which organizations were confronted as technology advanced. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Sometimes a very large—or very sophisticated—force might include subcaptains (lieutenants) or “junior” generals who reported to the chief general.J. it was clear that most organizations could not operate effectively within this framework. since they were truly contemporaries and the extent to which they influenced one another is not known. Periods of Greatest Influence of Ten Management and Organizational Theorists Period of Greatest Influence pre-1900 1890-1915 1890-1920 1885-1920 1910-1940 1925-1955 1945-1965 1955-1975 1965-Present Theorist(s) Historical Management Frederick W. the job was too complex. who was often the head of the army. a characteristic of most organizations throughout history. The captains reported to a general. During the past few centuries. each of whom was responsible for ten persons. but even then the hierarchy would be relatively flat. As the world changed. For example. It was around the turn of the century that three men developed modifications of the traditional structure in an effort to aid organizational functioning. and he simply did not have the time to give instructions to every single person. or hundreds. Well before 1900.Table 1. a typical small factory was organized like a feudal estate. Taylor Henri Fayol Max Weber Elton Mayo Fritz Roethlisberger and W. the traditional form of organizational hierarchy began to malfunction because of problems that it was not designed to handle.

46). Taylor’s idea of 30 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and many industries still use time-and-motion-study methods to design jobs. Taylor’s approach led down a dead-end path. . Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . no back talk” (Taylor. And what’s more. . 1912). 30). returning to the issue of the profit so large that there would be no need to argue over its division between labor and management. When [told] to pick up a pig and walk. Although Taylor’s success was not in dealing with large-scale organizational structures. in an experiment to increase efficiency. . and got 362 percent increase in work” (Copley. and quite radical. He believed that by applying his precepts for the scientific analysis and design of jobs. noted that Taylor “gave about 61 percent increase in wages. you will do exactly as [you are told] . Ultimately. . Taylor’s own description of a worker. contradictory person. In instructing this man. frequently. . 1911. . . labor and management cooperatively could create a profit large enough to provide ample remuneration for both the workers and the manufacturer. that he more nearly resembles in his mental makeup the ox than any other type” (Hearings. When [told] to sit down and rest. was for many years the defining characteristic of modern industrial work. Upton Sinclair. . each worker was supervised by a number of “functional foremen” who were expert teacher/trainers rather than the traditional overseers. Aside from this view of how to divide increased profits fairly. is: “One of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig-iron . Traditional Structures Frederick W. ideas. He would have done away with the principle of chain of command. In his design. 2nd Edition. 1923. however. from morning till night. . . is that he shall be so stupid . p. Taylor’s approach. . Finally. “If you are a high-priced man. or one worker/one boss. . he did have some interesting. shown in Figure 2.Figure 1. you pick it up and you walk . Taylor told him. It was years before people began to realize the tremendous psychological damage that was done to hundreds of thousands of workers by carrying these methods to an extreme. it is clear that Taylor and his followers went overboard in fractionating jobs by time-and-motion study. a popular “expose” writer of the time. In contrast. Taylor: Individually Centered Structure The author of the statement that is paraphrased at the beginning of this article was a complex and. you sit down . p.

he developed a set of fourteen principles that he felt covered most managerial situations. We will examine his achievements next. p. Taylor’s Ideal Structure the functional foreman failed. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 31 . 1949. Therefore principles are flexible and capable [of] adaptation” (Fayol. too. . “There is nothing rigid or absolute in management affairs . Yet.Figure 2. a contemporary of Taylor also was working on codification of management theory and was aware of Taylor’s work. in his 1916 papers on general and industrial management he wrote.” In France. As can be seen. that Congress investigated him as a possible communist subversive. As head of a French steel-and-coal mining organization for thirty years. later theorists who advocated absolute principles The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1978). Even so. then. 19). it was never fully implemented and was soon forgotten for two reasons: it threatened management supervisory notions of control and it was a far more complex design than was warranted by the nature of jobs at the time (1890-1910). like physical phenomena. . . .) Taylor talked his way out of this. apply the same principle twice in identical conditions . when “red scares” were common in the U. a somewhat changed version of Taylor’s ideal structure would be known as a “matrix” organization (Davis & Lawrence. however. seldom do we . sounded progressive but were not. . He was enough of an influence. 1977). It is not clear just how absolute Fayol meant to be about his principles—whether he intended them to be guidelines or powerful and stable laws. these organizations differ substantially from Taylor’s model because jobs are typically complex and technically demanding rather than fractionated and technically simple Taylor’s statements. and continued to train the next generation of “time-study men. (This was at the time of the successful Russian revolution. Years later. subject to natural laws independent of our will” (Fayol. . . In one essay he wrote. “I became convinced that social phenomena are. Henri Fayol: Organizationally Centered Structure We describe Fayol as being concerned with the structure of the organization—largescale structure—as opposed to a focus on task design or small-scale structure. Fayol was a pragmatist. 2nd Edition. More than this.S.

becoming aware of the increasing need for coordination in organizations. he strongly opposed Taylor’s revision of the traditional structure as an unacceptable isolation of the principle of chain of command. This may seem ridiculously simple but was revolutionary when Fayol was writing at the beginning of the century. Fayol called this the “scalar” principle. Fayol’s principles had a strong and lasting impact on the development of management thought in Europe and in England. that of the “gangplank. 1949. however. 35). a note that was actually the first step toward major change in our view of organizational structure.” which is illustrated in Figure 3 with the more recent label “Fayol’s Bridge. a need brought about by continuing technological development and one that could not be satisfied by traditional organizational structure. Fayol was. Fayol’s Modification of the Traditional Structure Fayol explains it thusly: “Imagine that department F has to be put in contact with department P . in a pragmatic way. It was primarily the former type of theorist. however. however. no radical.could appeal to Fayol—just as could those who favored more situationally flexible approaches. p. because his book did not appear in an easily obtainable English language 32 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. in fact. His effect on American management was indirect. Fayol added one small note to the traditional theory of organization. a worker at any level had only one primary interaction: with his or her supervisor. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The scalar principle will be safeguarded if managers E and O have authorized their respective subordinates F and P to deal directly” (Fayol. 2nd Edition.” Fayol. Aside from creating the first set of principles of organization. in the military it is commonly referred to as “chain of command. it is much simpler and quicker to go directly from F to P by making use of a ‘gangplank’ and that is what is most often done. . Fayol was. In a traditional structure (Figure 1B).” Figure 3. who followed Fayol’s lead in defining law-like principles. . modified this principle significantly with still another principle.

There were two modifications of the traditional structure in Weber’s presentation. The concept of rational-legal authority prescribes clearly defined limits over what may and may not be required of workers.. fairly efficient. Fayol’s principles were generally sensible if sometimes a bit fuzzy. responsibilities. second. but also how the employees’ free time might be spent and the assumption of absolute obedience to superiors. A complex. The second thing Weber defined was organizational arrangement as a hierarchy of offices rather than of individuals. some authors had developed hundreds of “principles of management. 2nd Edition. etc. detailed statement of organizational structure. Unfortunately. Most social scientists would agree that Weber was a genius in his field. hereditary rule) or force.edition until 1949. twelve-.” when reading Weber. or fourteen-hour working days. In fact. the basis of authority—rational and legal—was emphasized.—were clearly defined. management theory generally was the product of scholars and academics (such as Max Weber). These included not merely ten-. and very stable bureaucracy has been the basis of the Chinese civilization for over 3000 years. Max Weber: Organizationally and Societally Centered Structure Weber was far more successful than Taylor in his approach to the analysis of organizational arrangements.g. by the 1930s. his work encouraged others to add more principles until. in „‚ 33 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Nevertheless. The first was the notion of authority based on a rational-legal system. He also writes that bureaucracy “is superior to any other form in precision. but bureaucracy was not his invention. each “office” carries specified duties along with the legal authority to carry out those duties—no more and no less. for example. p. “The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization” (1946. thus making it possible to choose people for specific jobs on the basis of their competence and skills. however irrational or nonwork-related their orders. and control over workers was limited to behavior specifically related to the work. Weber’s analysis of the bureaucratic form. 214). Weber (1946) says. later authors did not always have his depth of managerial experience. the activities of the manager—duties. shown in Figure 4. What Weber (1947) did was first codify (describe) and then slightly modify a system of organization as old as history. Weber examined and analyzed in detail it and other bureaucratic systems that seemed to have been effective in terms of organizational survival and goal attainment. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . rather than the result of contributions from managers. Although today people often react negatively to the term “bureaucracy. and their principles often were meaningless lists of trivia. That is. one is aware that bureaucracy was a great invention.” Like his gangplank idea. His name is most closely associated with “bureaucracy” (although he was also a great religious scholar). rather than on tradition (e. The effect of this was twofold: first. including the Catholic church and the Prussian army. In Weber’s day. was the first clear. many (if not most) organizations—including business and industrial firms—assumed controls over workers that seem unbelievable today.

225). strives . Bureaucracy . . . Plagued with a variety of physical ailments. 214). the army and the church) was probably not unrelated to his various psychological problems. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . “The progress of bureaucratization . . * 34 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. “This results from the characteristic principle of bureaucracy: the abstract regularity of the execution of authority. and responsibility of the position (or “office”). First. he was also neurotic and suffered from a number of psychological symptoms. p. . His fascination with rigidly disciplined bureaucratic organizations (e. p. and in its reliability . Thus bureaucracy had two great advantages in Weber’s view. .Figure 4. it was the most efficient and effective form of organization and. 2nd Edition. duties. . . etc. Characteristics (skills. p. one may be reassured by the fact that Weber also said. p. p. and charismatic authority] which had no rational character” (1946. 244). . 224] . feudalism.) of people necessary for each position are specified. The march of bureaucracy has destroyed structures of domination [such as patriarchialism. .g.. If this sounds autocratic. in the stringency of its discipline. for a ‘right to the office’ by the establishment of a regular disciplinary procedure and by removal of the completely arbitrary disposition of the ‘chief’ over the subordinate [1946. . . 242] . Note that each position is defined as to specific tasks. is a parallel phenomenon of democracy” (1946. second. . and any person with these characteristics may be hired to fill the position. . it was the most humane form of organization. which is a result of the demand for ‘equality before the law’ in the personal and functional sense [1946. Weber was more overtly unhappy as a person than Taylor. authority. . Basic Bureaucratic Structure (Weber)* stability. [it] is formally capable of application to all kinds of administrative tasks” (1946.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 35 . “No social system can be considered satisfactory which deprives the great majority of mankind of every vestige of autonomy. basically. 1966. Although many organizations had endured and functioned in similar ways for centuries. Weber made organizations rational. It is interesting to note that this was written in 1919. It was these studies that led to the term human relations and the subsequent movement. at Harvard. however. Taylorism effects much in the way of economy of labor. 60). and 1950s without recognizing that the now-discredited evidence of superiority (in terms of productivity and quality) was never much more than an excuse for what is really a philosophical position. he was directly involved in that research. was the major force behind the human relations school. p. his contributions—which were not limited to defining and delineating bureaucracy—were monumental.g. Mayo’s student. Mayo’s philosophy was partly shaped as a response to Taylor’s ideas. as is indicated by the titles of his last books. It is also important to recognize that Mayo was not arguing against efficiency or productivity.Even so. 63). and Shepard. Landesberger. 1971). ‘industrial unrest’ will cease to be” (1919. responsible for the industrial psychology experiments at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant near Chicago. observing with acute detail and clarity the organizational form that was so functional for survival and identifying modern modifications to that form that took into account the increasing complexity of organizations in an increasingly technologically sophisticated world. In fact. No society is civilized in which the many [work] in the interests of the few. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Mayo served as the faculty member. Although Mayo was not one of those who wrote much about the “Hawthorne Studies” (see Carey. before the Hawthorne Studies began and before the term “human relations” was invented. and the results seemed to him to offer clear evidence for his philosophy. e. The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization (1933). Fritz Roethlisberger. “as a system. 2nd Edition. Weber made a large contribution. 1967. In summary. 1958. about how management ought to deal with people in the work environment. Elton Mayo. Mayo himself. concentrated on larger social issues. When ‘work’ signifies intelligent collaboration in the achievement of a social purpose. was more directly involved in the Hawthorne Studies and in creating the human relations movement. 1940s. a great social philosopher of the 1920s and 1930s. its chief defect is that workmen are not asked to collaborate in effecting such economies” (p. Mayo was particularly opposed to the scientific management so forcefully advocated by Taylor. Dickson & Roethlisberger. just as Taylor made specific tasks rational. he is speaking. Elton Mayo: Societally Centered Human Interaction It is not possible to understand the human-relations movement of the 1930s.. Mayo wrote.

Dickson: Individually Centered Human Interaction The Hawthorne Studies (Roethlisberger & Dickson. At first everything seemed reasonable. Katz and Kahn (1966) observed that the Hawthorne workers had the best supervisor. and that these workers. 36 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. employees. when a strong backlash swept toward the human relations movement. 1958. Landesberger. This is true whether one believes that the social factors were the special attention given the workers or the quality of supervision and group interaction they experienced. They like to be praised rather than blamed . One view is that the supervisor. working with the company’s personnel department liaison. and formed a cohesive team. Dickson.Fritz Roethlisberger and W. . 1971). industrial psychologists were actively applying Taylor’s time-study methods as well as analyzing work conditions to determine how human work capacities varied with the physical environment (light. A brief review of this historically important research program is worthwhile. even when conditions were poor. worked hard to satisfy him. In short. was thought to be true during the 1950s and 1960s. who also had been screened. At Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant. Workers and supervisors were selected to participate in the study. Roethlisberger was on-site head. heat.J. . At this point the engineers gave up. . were given special privileges. . etc. although special attention does have effects. Shepard. In the guise of scholarly debate and critique. . importance. These factors. attacked and defended for over forty years (Carey. in which work behavior was measured as physical conditions varied. 1936) have been analyzed and reanalyzed. . and a new research team from Harvard was brought in. In the late 1920s. However. production continued to increase. What was so controversial was not the research findings but their philosophical interpretations. they argued. Thus. and correctness of the human relations approach based on Mayo’s values. noise. . They like to work in an atmosphere of approval. the importance of human relations was demonstrated. .J. commonly referred to as the Hawthorne effect. Roethlisberger put it this way: “People like to feel important and have their work recognized as important . This explanation. The importance of the Hawthorne Studies is the demonstration that social factors have strong impacts on work behavior. A less sanguine view is that the workers responded to the special treatment they were being given by working hard to please the researchers. even under adverse conditions. 1967. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . ventilation. people argued about the worth. W.g. when the level of light was decreased. e. . go far beyond the effects possible from just special attention. What soon became evident was that social relationships in the test area were having a great influence on worker productivity.. The truth is somewhere in between. They like to be consulted about and participate in actions that will personally affect them. illumination levels were increased and production increased. who had been chosen because of his excellent reputation. They like to feel independent in their relations to their supervisors . a special test area was set up.). 2nd Edition. until the workers were producing more than ever under conditions equivalent to bright moonlight. had developed a strongly loyal work group with high morale.

Every work unit became selfregulating. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. uncles. the members of these groups would support high production goals. as had been true in the last century). Figure 5. although there also was considerable resistance. these human-relations ideas gained a fair degree of acceptance among managers. workers would establish their own patterns of coordination. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 37 . etc.like most people. Over time. Mayo saw that in society the extended family was becoming the nuclear family. By recognizing and supporting this informal organization. aunts. Many managers feared loss of control or power.. which was not an unrealistic concern. want to be treated as belonging to and being an integral part of some group” (1950). Management benefitted because. The development of positive work relationships (indicated by the work units in Figure 5) was seen as beneficial to workers in that they regained a sense of group identification lost to them as their families became smaller (parents and children. solve problems. not including grandparents. Mayo and Roethlisberger conceived an organization along the lines illustrated in Figure 5. Roethlisberger and Dickson’s Human Relations Model The prescription was simply to allow small groups of workers maximum freedom in controlling their own work. The rather laissez-faire. when treated properly (the human-relations approach). Within the groups. He proposed to substitute a new work group for the old family group. and help one another as needed. 2nd Edition. leading to greater productivity and more efficient job performance. management theoretically could gain the support and cooperation of workers. with consequent loss of family-group identification for many.

One of the first and best known was Douglas McGregor. (This assumes. McGregor said. asserts that workers are responsible and want to be involved more in their work (such that their own needs are met as the organization’s are). 26). and later parts of the study showed that groups of workers acted to regulate their output. 1958). growth is most advanced). so are the security needs. social. This theory suggests that human needs can be categorized as survival. McGregor based his approach on the motivation theory of Abraham Maslow (1943). it did provide the basis for the continued development of the behavioral-science theories of organization. managers—and not just academic researchers—realized this fact. “The essential task of management is to arrange the organizational conditions and methods of operation so that people can achieve their own goals best by directing their own efforts toward organizational objectives” (1957.” The former represents traditional assumptions about human motivation. In any case. illustrated by articles in the Harvard Business Review titled “What Price Human Relations?” (McNair. Theory Y. and productivity turned out to be much more complicated than Mayo and his colleagues had expected. group morale. 1966). 2nd Edition. it was clear that productivity and efficiency were not attainable through the simple solutions generated by the human relations advocates (see Sales. the individual progresses toward higher needs (survival is primary. for the majority.) 38 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Perhaps the disillusionment of some accounts for the subsequent backlash. security. that for most workers the survival needs are met. some of which are that people are lazy and work only because they have to and that workers must be controlled and led. The Hawthorne Studies actually foretold this. Although the human-relations approach idealized by Mayo and by Roethlisberger and Dickson ultimately failed. and. the workers’ motives can be directed toward organizational. and self-development (or growth). In doing this he coined the terms “Theory X” and “Theory Y. reasonably enough. As one type of need is basically fulfilled. The relationships among satisfaction. goals. This finding was verified in other studies. while very satisfied workers in cohesive work groups could be quite unproductive. p. limiting it to no more than a certain average amount per day even though they could have easily produced at far higher levels. human relations has become a ritual term. Douglas McGregor: Individually Centered Behavioral Science The influence of the human-relations movement provided support for behavioral scientists in business schools. in contrast. Still further research showed that very unhappy workers could be highly productive. a thing that all believe in with no particular action implications (other than generally treating workers with common courtesy). By the mid-1950s. a psychologist who served to link a psychological view of human motivation to a theory of management. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .undirected approach prescribed conceivably could generate some anxiety even in a liberal manager. This suggests that if management can design work to fulfill the higher needs of workers. which we now will examine. as well as individual. esteem. 1957) and “The Case for Benevolent Autocracy” (McMurray. Eventually.

“It is no more possible to create an organization today which will be a fully effective application of this theory than it was to build an atomic power plant in 1945” (1966. in one sense. McGregor’s great gift was in taking some fairly complex ideas and expressing them in a clear. What is even more important. “There are big differences in the kinds of opportunities that can be provided for people to obtain need satisfaction. However. autocratic. System 2 represents benevolent autocracy or paternalism.One implication of this approach is that managers must diagnose individual workers’ needs and offer opportunities for those needs to be satisfied. Rensis Likert: Organizationally Centered Behavioral Science In the work of Likert (1961. In 1957 McGregor wrote. the basic categories of need are few. however. and exploitative of workers. System 3 is called “consultative” management. effective management would seem to be rather impractical. however. In 1954. McGregor neglected to consider the organizational framework needed to support such management behavior. based on the best knowledge available about human motivation. he said. provide people with a sense of achievement. was that his theory was not an organizational theory but a theory of how individual managers might better manage. the task of creating appropriate organizational conditions seems more feasible. Furthermore. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 39 . A major part of McGregor’s implementation problem. one finds the most complete and sophisticated theory of organization based on behavioral science. would have to be radically changed. He was able to explain the failure of human relations—and of autocracy—and offer a possible alternative: Theory Y. which were based on past treatment. 2nd Edition. Workers are involved to a degree in The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. goals. We will look next at a theorist who did develop such a framework. and such change comes slowly. 1967). or with prestige. If this is so. although the range of specific individual needs is great. yet not oversimplified manner. pp. Likert’s theory is clearly prescriptive. or with knowledge. as expanding McGregor’s two alternatives to four systems. Likert can be seen. McGregor developed a philosophy of how to manage individual workers. You cannot. It developed out of research conducted during the twenty-five years that Likert was director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Although he presented this philosophy in sugar-coated capsule form—Theory Y—he recognized that it would not be so simple to implement. the organization will be effective. 44-45). It is relatively easy to provide means (chiefly in the form of money) for need satisfaction—at least until the supply is exhausted. People’s expectations. when workers are involved in defining their own needs. You can provide opportunities for them to obtain these satisfactions through efforts directed toward organization goals. 24). p. the supply of such opportunities—unlike the supply of money—is unlimited” (1966. System 1 is much like an extreme Theory X-organization: rigid. and potential rewards. he argues that his approach describes effective organizations and that if it is implemented.

47). Their function is to act as coordinative “linkers” (information transmitters) between the two groups. and (3) his high performance goals for the organization” (1967. Second. he or she is the head of one group but a member of another group (at the next level up). Figure 6.making decisions.” That is. He is the only modern behavioral scientist to speak of a “principle” of management. this principle owes much to the human-relations school but also. values. the manager serves as an important communication link between the two levels. incorporates Maslow’s needs of esteem and growth. The principle of supportive relationships states that “the leadership and other processes of the organization must be such as to ensure a maximum probability that in all interactions and in all relationships within the organization. the supervisor or manager is seen as a “link-pin. supervision is seen as a group—not a one-to-one. not orders from above. 47). the group is delegated as much authority as possible. each member. 2nd Edition. In content. Third. * 40 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. as illustrated in Figure 6. System 4 is participative management. will view the experience as supportive and one which builds and maintains his sense of personal worth and importance” (1967. p. superior-to-subordinate—activity. in the light of his background. decisions are group decisions. Managers and supervisors are “link-pins. Likert’s Overlapping Group/Link-Pin Model Likert incorporates some of the earlier organizational theories in System 4. all workers are involved in decisions that concern them. In Likert’s words.” that is. desires. First. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . System 4 has three key elements: “(1) the use by the manager of the principle of supportive relationships. The group methods that Likert mentions also derive from Mayo and reflect Maslow’s social-need category. (2) his use of group decision making and group methods of supervision. p. in a very general way. but all real power remains with the managers. members of two groups. and expectations. Thus. These statements mean several things.

just as Fayol’s Bridge was an important change. .Likert’s notion of performance goals as well as the basic structure he follows are derived from Weber’s theory of bureaucracy. p. show that managers who seek to do so can readily learn better systems of management” (1967. Figure 7. 2nd Edition. and organization. Although the organization shown in Figure 6 may look unusual at first glance. Instead of the manager making a decision. Likert’s Combined Behavioral/Matrix Model Likert should not be underestimated. this is shown in Figure 7. The art of management can be based on verifiable information derived from rigorous. but like the bridge. research on leadership. . . it is a modification. He also argues for the utility of sound behavioral science research: “Most organizations today base their standard operating procedures and practices on classical organizational theories. . quantitative research” (1967. 190). provides a more stable body of knowledge . 1). the shifting sands of practitioner judgment were the major if not the only source of knowledge about how to organize and run an enterprise. Likert even has his own version of Fayol’s Bridge. selecting relevant individuals from each of the units that need to coordinate activities. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 41 . . Likert believes that most managers can learn to operate under his theory: “Data . Now. the only modification to the traditional bureaucratic form is that authority is shared at one level below that shown in Figure 4. until recently. Likert uses an ad hoc group for this purpose. . This is an important change. These theories rely on key assumptions. . Because coordination has continued to become complex since Fayol’s time. Likert’s position is well stated The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. management. He has developed what appears (after much study and trial) to be a workable organizational form for implementing the basic human relations approach and for putting Theory Y into practice. p. undertaken by social scientists. . not a radical restructuring. the decision is made by the manager in collaboration with the manager’s subordinates.

This last statement highlights what many consider to be the major flaw in Likert’s approach: the conspicuous absence of anything reminiscent of Taylor or Taylorism. & Pollock. among others. Plants. Higgin. 2nd Edition. Trist 42 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. motivation. 1951). an organizational sociologist. which began in the 1940s and continues today. The STS concept started at the bottom of a coal mine. The STS approach has actually involved over a dozen behavioral scientists. etc. Every aspect of a firm’s activities is determined by the competence. Eric Miller (1967). Herbst (1974). Einer Thorsrud (Emery & Thorsrud. Likert was asked why his theory contained no meaningful consideration of the specific characteristics of jobs (design. The most clear statements of STS as an organized theory have. that technology determines everything and that human variables are essentially irrelevant. P. This approach was developed in the 1950s and 1960s at the Tavistock Institute. however. Wilfred Brown (1960). simply. for strong social contacts when faced with a very dangerous task). go so far as to assert the opposite. Likert’s reason is unusual. .K. 1978).g. however. Bamforth (Trist & Bamforth. . take a more balanced view. Wilson. seeing the technical and social aspects of organizations as interdependent. technology. workers had solved the problem by going all the way back to the small-group team mining that had been abandoned at the time of semimechanization in the 1940s (see Trist. 1976). 1963). but it fit better with the needs of the miners (e. He replied to the effect that these factors are organizationally irrelevant. Rice (1958).. At a professional meeting in 1978. Elliot Jaques (1951). automated equipment. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .) or of the motivations of individuals.G. was that under certain conditions that made the new methods impractical. Trist and a former student. and general effectiveness of its human organization” (p. 1).in the opening lines of his book. 1951). been presented by Emery and Trist. computers. The team approach not only solved the technical problems. offices. The Human Organization (1967): “All the activities of any enterprise are initiated and determined by the persons who make up that institution. were studying the use of new work methods in the mining industry. M. Although Taylor could be rejected for a number of reasons. Many names are associated with this approach. however.” or. . including (in alphabetical order) Kenneth Bamforth (Trist & Bamforth. and A. this article will discuss the writings of the two Tavistock members who are most known in the United States. Fred Emery and Eric Trist: A Comprehensive Behavioral Science Theory Emery and Trist (1960) are the two names most familiarly attached to the theory called “sociotechnical systems.T. What they found. Wilfred Bion (1961). He believes that Taylor’s basic concept of job technology is irrelevant to organizational effectiveness. and all else that a modern firm uses are unproductive except for human effort and direction . Most current organizational theorists disagree strongly with this view. A. Some. like Charles Perrow (1972). The best current example of such an approach derives from work at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations (England). both together and independently. Morray. Most. STS (see Pasmore & Sherwood.

Her answer was a strong “no. ratio of managers to nonmanagers. such as the proper “span of control” or average number of workers to be supervised by a first-line supervisor. All the measures seemed to differ by industry—in fact. confirmed this notion. were modified depending on an organization’s technology. there seemed to be a best method of organizing to fit each type of technology. In fact.” There was no relation at all between effectiveness and adherence to management principles. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 43 . working independently of the Tavistock group. span of control. of hand-knit sweaters. on the average. I came up a different man. Firms that had too many or too few levels of hierarchy. In other words. Firms that stayed close to this best approach for their technical system were most effective. by type of technology (which was crudely categorized as production of individual units. especially when one realizes that Woodward worked totally independently and was unaware of the Tavistock STS approach. Each basic technological type did differ. This showed that the principles did not seem to be universal but. p. their sizes. in fact. But what of effectiveness? Woodward then showed that the more effective organizations consistently were characterized at about the average or mean value on each measure. The STS approach does not prescribe one particular organizational form. and continuous-process production). Woodward reexamined her data and found a pattern. “After going down into the coal mine this time. too wide or too narrow a span of control. follow the principles more closely than less profitable firms. mass production. The concept was brilliantly simple: the technological system used in an organization must fit or mesh properly with the social system if the organization is to operate effectively. in number of levels of hierarchy. The third represents high-technology products that are manufactured in a continuous process. or of one-of-a-kind. STS theory does incorporate modern behavioral science as derived from human relations theory and industrial/organizational psychology. so there is no one diagram to illustrate it. This seemed odd. 151). because some principles were considered common sense. rather. The second type is the traditional assemblyline operation. that approach was most clearly stated at just about the time that Woodward was publishing her findings in 1958. high-technology items. and the formal structural arrangements in the organization—all these things may vary widely from Likert’s modified bureaucratic format.said. Examples of the first would be the manufacture of locomotives. It is based on the participative involvement of workers in semiautonomous groups and is like Likert’s System 4 in this respect. 2nd Edition. I was certain that the things I observed were of major significance” (1980. and a number of other variables. The support of Woodward’s findings for the STS approach is striking. such as oil or chemicals. Katz and Kahn (1966) The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. so Trist and Emery could not have been influenced by her work either. Joan Woodward’s (1965) intent was to test some of the basic principles of management by checking to see whether more profitable firms did. or too small or too large a manager/worker ratio for their type of technology were least profitable. In the mid-1950s another British researcher. How these groups are set up.

” uncontrollably reactive. more complex devices are needed to coordinate organizational activities. Finally. These devices include temporary cross-link teams (as defined by Likert). This.comment that the STS approach assumes three basic human work needs: (a) a need for closure. the second two being unstable. Our focus has been on micro processes. . p. and low internal organizational specialization of tasks and functions. of course. such as Thompson’s (1967) and Perrow’s (1970). 166). We may well be faced with wholesale unemployment as technological advances continue to replace workers. yet we must try to do something at macro levels. Trist notes. Trist comments that “environmental turbulence has become such a strong dynamic that I’m a pessimistic optimist. 162). for finishing a whole task. however. almost unpredictable. Only Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch (1969). Likert’s and all of the earlier theories totally ignored this dynamic interaction. They define four types of environment. at the large-scale system level” (1980. and (c) a need for some level of interpersonal contact at work. “We . professors at Harvard. market demand. deals with this issue through Emery and Trist’s (1965) concept of “causal texture” of the environment. (b) a need for autonomy or control of one’s own behavior as a mature adult. and to Likert’s group-based approach. 44 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and even departments whose task is simply to coordinate among other departments. uncertain changes in the above factors and high internal specialization). In fact. . STS theory does not pretend to offer a cure for all organizational ills. I’m scared as hell about what will happen on a large scale during the next few decades. the first two being subdivisions of the stable environment defined by Lawrence and Lorsch. directly contradicts Likert’s views of organizations while incorporating the key points of his and many earlier theories—as well as parts of some less well-known sociological theories of organization that we have not mentioned. It is easy to see how these concepts relate to the human relations approach. STS theory incorporates a concern with organizational environments and the effects of the environment on organizations. hit on the word ‘turbulence’ when I was describing how I [once] became airsick” (1980. When environments are very unstable (rapid. They suggest that more traditional structures (Figure 4) are appropriate when the environment is quite stable in terms of technological complexity and change. STS theory. Unlike the various older approaches. Trist’s comments seem about as pessimistic as an organizational theorist’s can be. p. not as a diversion or tangential to work activity but as a basic part of task activities. The ‘management of decline’ may become a new approach as resources are exhausted and various aspects of our economy wind down. Where STS goes well beyond any of the earlier theoretical approaches is in incorporating technology as a major determinant of how the system should be socially organized. 2nd Edition. The “type-four” environment is called “turbulent. attempted to examine organizations in terms of the demands of their environments. to McGregor’s Theory Y. liaison roles.

there has been steady development in organizational theory. One sees in Likert not merely his new ideas (such as the organizational link-pin concept) but also the reflection of the times he lived in. simply because circumstances do exist that make such structural forms not only possible but desirable. one can see even more clearly how this “thesis-antithesis-synthesis” process has worked. 1957). McGregor. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. even when one individual or group vehemently disagreed with another. although it would be reasonable to assume that whatever theories follow will be hierarchical in nature and—to some degree— bureaucratic in orientation. In the sociotechnical systems approach. Roethlisberger & Dickson. there is no way of knowing what will succeed them. It has passed through a concern with small groups (Mayo. In McGregor’s work. 1936). Who will become the dominant theorists of the upcoming generation is not clear. but it is unlikely that all will ever disappear. incorporating much of what came before. and by examining the social-historical contexts in which they lived. Management and organizational theory has come a long way. we see the most recent generation of fully developed organizational theory. Nor would it be correct to conclude that the more recently developed structural forms are best in any absolute sense. 2nd Edition. the days of principles of management and the Hawthorne Studies. and going beyond the prior theories. from the turn-of-the-century world of Taylor to the world of supersonic aircraft and potential nuclear holocaust. and finally with all these factors in the context of a broad. In all probability. social-system approach. individual-behavior focus of traditional theory (Taylor. 1961. Good arguments can be made that such organizations will continue to decrease in number.Overview At this point. Many organizations remain faithful to Weber’s bureaucratic model. there is no indication that the earlier forms are totally superseded by later developments. 1911). it should be clear why this article has labeled each theorist according to the primary social-system level dealt with and the primary orientation taken. Still. accepting and rejecting or correcting earlier elements. 1919. structural. The aim of this article has been to show how organizational theorists have built on one another’s ideas and how. even less clear is the possible nature of the theories yet to come. From the narrow. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 45 . By looking at the theorists as people and not just as inanimate sources of ideas. the world is diverse enough that such circumstances will continue to exist. we can find new ideas about management philosophy and also old ideas about human motivation that were developed in the 1930s and 1940s (and are not unrelated to Mayo’s ideas about human needs). with organizations (Likert. and there are even a few that still adhere to the traditional structural model. the basic ideas of both were usually incorporated into a new approach.

E. Homewood. American Sociological Review. A theory of human motivation. (1958). R. Storrs. F. & Trist.W. Government Printing Office. Jaques. (1949). 46(11). McGregor. The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff. Management: Theory and practice (4th ed.E. (1912). (1960). (1961). Harvard University.M. E. Trans.G. New York: McGraw-Hill.. Democracy at work.. S. (1923). MA: Addison-Wesley.J. W. D. Brown. (1966). New York: Basic Books. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. L’éveil de esprit publique.L. P. E. Graduate School of Business Administration.. Emery. 1388-1389. F. Human Relations. Socio-technical systems.E. H. H. Katz. Experiences in groups. Counseling in an organization: A sequel to the Hawthorne researches. H. Ithaca. 21-32. Socio-technical design. New York: McGraw-Hill. London: Tavistock. A. New York: Harper & Row. The social psychology of organizations. E. Cambridge. Emery. Reading. (1951). Quoted in E.R. 370-396. F. DC: U.. & Roethlisberger. Bion. London: Tavistock. NY: Cornell University Press. Cambridge. MA: Division of Research. E. pp. Maslow. D. (1967). (1961). (1976). 18. Herbst. (1977). F. Oxford. (1957). The changing culture of a factory. 50. Leiden. (1919). F.J. P. The Management Review. (1976). (1960). Mayo. Irwin.R. The human side of enterprise. W. (1943). Proceedings of the Fifth Anniversary Convocation of the School of Industrial Management. Exploration in management. New patterns of management.H. New York: John Wiley. E. Frederick W. Fayol. & Thorsrud.T. (1921).L. (1974). (1933). Psychological Review. The causal texture of organizational environments. Likert.T. England: Pergamon Press.). (1978). Washington. Taylor: Father of scientific management. London: Heinemann. Carey. Emery. Fayol. E.. 46 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.J. 32. Hearings Before Special Committee of the House of Representatives to Investigate the Taylor and Other Systems of Shop Management Under Authority of House Resolution 90. 2nd Edition. W.S. New York: John Wiley. Dickson.. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The Hawthorne studies: A radical criticism. In Adventure in thought and action. Hawthorne revisited. C. Melbourne. New York: McGraw-Hill. The human organization.M. Boston. Organization and environment: Managing differentiation and integration. J. General and industrial management (C.REFERENCES Argyris. Matrix. The human problems of an industrial civilization. & Lorsch. (1965). 403-416. London: Pitman. Democracy and freedom: An essay in social logic. April 9). Likert. P. & Kahn. & Lawrence. H. Fayol.R. (1957. & Trist. Paris: Dunod. D. Davis. (1966). R. R. MA: Harvard University Press. Increasing leadership effectiveness. L’incapacité industrielle de l’état: Les P. 26. (1967). (1969). McGregor. Landesberger.).. Australia: Macmillan. Dale. Lawrence. Mayo.B. A. IL: Richard D. The human side of enterprise. Copley. MA.

F. E. A philosophy of management.K. 14. W. (1958). Cambridge. On Alex Carey’s radical criticism of the Hawthorne studies. Rice. (1963). (1951).). London: Oxford University Press. Sales. Some social and psychological consequences of the longwall method of coal-getting. Parsons.B. (1946). C.M.M. London: Tavistock. (1972). 144-166.J. M.. A. McNair. G. (1970).J.P. Parsons.J. A. Trans. Pasmore. Scientific management. re-discovery and transformation of a work tradition. (1958). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 47 . J. F. New York: Harper. M. Academy of Management Journal. 35(2). 275-286. S. A.D. Higgin.A. 23-31. Organizational choice: Capabilities of groups at the coal face under changing technologies: The loss. Ed.H. J. (1947). Trist. Wright Mills. Eds. From Max Weber: Essays in sociology (H. 3-38. M.A.T. The case for benevolent autocracy. D. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Organizational analysis: A sociological view.. MA: M.K. Roethlisberger. E. San Diego. J.J.W. (1950). McGregor. Organizations in action. London: Tavistock. Perrow. Weber. Taylor. & Sherwood. 19. Weber. Systems of organization. In W. (1971).W. New York: McGraw-Hill. McMurray. Complex organizations: A critical essay. Human Relations. Cambridge. 2nd Edition. (1966). K. 15-39. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (1936). New York: Oxford University Press. (1911). W. Roethlisberger. Schein (Eds. (1980). Supervisory style and productivity: Review and theory.I. (1967). British interdisciplinarian.L.G. & T. 4. (1978). Personnel Psychology.L. Shepard. & Pollock. C. & Dickson. R. The human equation in employee productivity (Speech before the personnel group of the National Retail Dry Goods Association). Murray. Management and the worker. Perrow. with the collaboration of C. The theory of social and economic organizations (A.L. Thompson. Woodward. Bennis & E..J. Gerth & C. Foresman. Harvard Business Review. Interview: Eric Trist. J.). IL: Scott.. F. (1965). 36(1). London: Tavistock. & Bamforth. New York: The Free Press. Trist. Sociotechnical systems: A sourcebook.. Miller.McGregor. Glenview.N. What price human relations? Harvard Business Review..M..M. Industrial organization: Theory and practice. (1966). 5(2). MA: Harvard University Press. E. & Rice. Press. Henderson & T. Productivity and social organization: The Ahmedabad experiment.H. 82-90. E. Leadership and motivation: Essays of Douglas McGregor.. H. Monterey. Group & Organization Studies.). CA: Brooks/Cole. Trist. (1967). & Trans. (1957).

. Child.N. MA: Addison-Wesley. P. (1973). Weick. New York: Halstead-Wiley. H. ed. K. 48 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (1978). J. Pfeffer. Jr. MA: Addison-Wesley. Designing complex organizations. (1980). (1977).E. The structuring of organizations.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.). (1979). The design of organizations. They provide limits and guidelines for the future development of organizational theory. Englewood Cliffs. Khandwalla. Mintzberg. J. IL: AHM Publishing. NJ: Prentice-Hall.SUGGESTED READINGS The following are books by the most recent crop of organizational theorists. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Galbraith. The social psychology of organizing (rev. Reading. Reading.R. Arlington Heights. Organization design. Man and organization: The search for exploration and social relevance. (Ed. 2nd Edition. (1973). J.

San Diego. and promotion policies. Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. 2. Feedback and Counseling Subsystems are sequels to performance appraisal. and 4 To create a climate that enables every employee to discover. 3. Potential Appraisal involves identification of critical functions and the qualities required to perform these functions for each role in the organization. Career Planning and Development Systems usually include identification of career opportunities within the organization. promotion policies. and motivate talented employees. retain. develop. Performance Appraisal includes identification of key performance areas. Goodstein (Eds. 4. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 49 . and managing of problem employees. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. and self-assessment. Human resource development has the following objectives: 1. and use his or her capabilities to a fuller extent. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. periodic assessment of employees for potential to perform higher-level roles. all information is available to the appraisee. and the like. potential appraisal. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. measurement of these critical attributes. The following components of HRD help in achieving its objectives: 1. feedback and counseling. plans for organizational growth. assessment of behavioral dimensions.„‚ LINE MANAGERS AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT Udai Pareek and T. To provide a comprehensive framework and methods for the development of human resources in an organization 2 To generate systematic information about human resources for purposes of manpower planning. and career development. 2nd Edition. In an open appraisal system. Venkateswara Rao Many organizations are adopting human resource development (HRD) systems and practices. identification of career paths. placement. succession planning.). 3 To increase the capabilities of an organization to recruit. target setting. Performance analysis focuses on helping the appraisee to understand job-related issues concerning his or her behavior. job rotation. in order to further both individual and organizational goals.

biographical data. assisting problem departments. performance appraisals. research and OD. HRD does not merely focus on employees as individuals but also on other human units and processes in the organization. These include the roles or jobs in the organization. 6. These various subsystems are interrelated (Pareek & Rao. the various teams in which people work. Three emphases are involved in the concept of HRD. The main emphasis in interteam development is on cooperation among various groups and teams. helping interested units and departments in self-renewal. First. Organization Development and Research subsystems aim at maintaining and monitoring organizational health. people working in organizations are regarded as valuable resources. attitudes. 8. When all these subsystems operate simultaneously and in concert. capabilities. 7. appraisal (both performance 50 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1981). etc. and the total organization. which means that they cannot be treated as one treats material resources. There are five main components of HRD: training. and establishing processes that promote enabling capabilities in the organization. organization of internal training programs. potential appraisals.) is on developing collaboration and problem-solving capabilities both in the members and in the teams. the organization may be said to have integrated HRD. 2nd Edition. the main focus is on the development of trust and mutuality. data storage. Reinforcement (usually called reward systems) helps in reinforcing desirable values. The emphasis of HRD for the various teams (task groups.5. and (c) facilitating advancement or promotion. committees. For the dyadic group (the employee and the supervisor). Research also helps in analyzing information generated by the HRD subsystems. interteam groups. Thirdly. For the organization. so that the individual feels worthwhile. departments. behaviors. dissemination of information about training opportunities. performance appraisal provides inputs for training. and collaboration in an organization. and training. THE HRD MATRIX We have briefly mentioned six different units in the organization concerned with HRD. and evaluation and follow up. For example. conflict management. (b) monitoring growth and development. Management Information systems maintain and update information about skills. they are human resources. Secondly. Personal development would imply the following: (a) helping the person’s selfmanagement by the development of skills and the setting of realistic goals. Training is usually concerned with assessment of training needs and policies. dyadic units (each consisting of an employee and his or her boss). implying that there is a need to invest time and effort in their development. The main emphasis in the job or role area is on producing pride. and feedback and counseling. the main emphasis is on viability and self-renewal. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and creation of strong teams.

development. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 51 . Dyad Provide training in counseling.Reward building employee interventions. Organization Provide training on goals. 2nd Edition. Reward responsibility. Do strategy planning. etc. The effectiveness of one contributes to the effectiveness of the others. Provide role interventions. The following matrices (Tables 1 and 2) illustrate the relationships between these six foci of HRD and the five functions or components of HRD. Develop potentialappraisal system. Appraise counseling and trust. Team Interteam Establish collaboration. Develop team. and follow up. intrinsic disseminate rewards. philosophy. Develop system for interteam rewards. Develop system of rotation among departments. Establish collaboration. The six foci of HRD are interrelated. Prepare KPAs and CAs. Provide for intergroup work. Emphasize leadership role. implementation. Provide survey Develop feedback. provide reinforcement. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Provide for intergroup work. Provide counseling. and career planning. review role content. information on experiments. provide team training Do strategy planning. Provide career counseling for people who have achieved maximum growth in organization. Table 1: HRD Matrix: HRD Responsibility HRD Components Foci of HRD Person Training Establish system for training-needs survey and follow up. Emphasize role of institutional values. including performance review and counseling).appraisal and potential appraisal. organization development (including research and system development). Reinforcement Career Growth Reward attributes. We thus have a matrix consisting of six foci of HRD and five components of HRD. and work redesign. job enrichment. organizational values. Provide role growth through motivations. OD Develop personoriented interventions. Develop system for team rewards. Role Establish job training and follow up. Appraisal Design systems. rewards.

52 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Counsel teams. THE ROLE OF LINE MANAGERS Line managers have an important role to play in ensuring the realization of HRD objectives. Counsel Create employees. do performance analyses. Role Dyad Counsel. Reward cooperation. help in implementation. goals. Organization Volunteer as a Establish Implement trainer. provide feedback on new KPAs HRD Components OD Create conducive climate. Although the top management should make available the resources required for investment in human resources and the HRD department should provide instruments and systems that can be used by the organization. Provide role analysis.Table 2. conducive provide climate. Encourage interaction. These capabilities may help in performing existing tasks better or faster or in performing new tasks. it is ultimately the line managers who translate these into action. They may deal with managerial functions or technical functions or behavior. request interventions. Encourage interdepartmental experiences. linkage plans. Provide more responsibility. provide feedback to HRD. Reinforcement Career Growth Provide intrinsic Set career rewards. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Appraisal Set goals. Set objectives for KPAs. Reward institutional contributions. Provide counseling Team Identify needs. suggest career growth plans. request between goals surveys. HRD Matrix: Line Management Responsibility Foci of HRD Person Training Request training. Provide intrinsic Provide rewards/ support and help. Reinforce. 2nd Edition. and values. They may be cognitive abilities or skills. Counsel and help. feedback to HRD on problems and achievements. Development can be defined as the acquisition of new capabilities. We shall now use the matrix concept to discuss the respective roles of line management and the HRD specialist. This requires realization on the part of the line managers that they have the responsibility to develop and utilize their employees.

4. 5. provides opportunities to take responsibility and initiative and to learn on the job. 3. however. 5. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 53 . Designs systems to identify training needs. The employee should enjoy the process of growth itself. Sponsors subordinates for training with HRD department. managers have the impression that the HRD department ensures that these conditions are met. 2. 7. to help subordinates learn to work as a team. outlining managerial. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The employee should perceive opportunities for acquiring such capabilities. Encourages employees. A line manager plays an important role in creating these conditions for subordinates. technical. The employee should be aware of the capabilities he or she needs to develop. Provides continuous coaching and helps employees to develop problem-solving skills. 6. 6. 7. Manages training production (functions and facilities). provides such opportunities. Collects information about available training programs. 2. 4. Disseminates information about training opportunities to line managers. Collects information about training needs from line managers. discusses opportunities for trying out what they have learned. 3. Institutes group discussions. Obtains feedback from subordinates about capabilities acquired during training.. 2. Quite often. 5. The employee should perceive that acquiring new capabilities helps in fulfilling his or her psychological needs. the HRD department can only provide the instruments or mechanisms for use by the line managers. Each supplements (and supports) what the other does in relation to the development of employees. The HRD department and line managers play complementary roles. Analyzes training needs and plans in-house training. The employee should have the means to assess his or her own rate of growth. and behavioral capabilities required. HRD Department 1. etc. 3.Development of employees requires certain conditions: 1. Analyzes each employee’s role and lists detailed functions to be performed. Keeps up to date on trends in training. Identifies training needs of each employee in terms of relevant functions and communicates these to HRD department. 4. This relationship can be summarized as follows: TRAINING RESPONSIBILITIES Line Manager 1. 2nd Edition.

7. Responds frankly to organizational-diagnosis surveys. openness. 4. return of forms. and trust to encourage identification and use of subordinates’ capabilities. 2. 2.PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL Line Manager As Appraiser: 1. Monitors appraisal and review discussions. Participates actively in discussion arranged by process specialists. Identifies managers who can be trained as process specialists. 6. 4. counseling. ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT Line Manager 1. Identifies and clarifies key performance areas (KPAs) for each subordinate. 4. Provides orientation training for managers about the performance-appraisal system. 3. Helps subordinates experience success. Provides feedback on trends to managers. etc. 3. 4. 2. Helps subordinates set challenging goals. Conducts periodic surveys on the quality of appraisals. Identifies support needed by subordinates and makes it available. 8. 3. Understands difficulties experienced by subordinates in performing their functions and provides necessary support. Generates climate of mutuality. 6. As Appraisee: 1. Reflects on own strengths. Develops procedures for administration of rewards. Analyzes performance data for different units and provides feedback concerning inhibiting factors and facilitating factors. Sets challenging goals for self. HRD Department 1. Identifies subsystems that need OD efforts and notifies HRD department or top management. Helps managers with appraisals and counseling. weaknesses. Conducts periodic organizational-diagnosis surveys. and appraisal trends. Plans and conducts OD interventions and monitors follow up. and overall performance. 2nd Edition. HRD Department 1. Identifies subsystems that may need OD. 3. 5. 2. 7. 5. Helps subordinates recognize strengths and weaknesses through periodic feedback. Prepares realistic action plans for OD interventions and implements them. 2. Designs appraisal systems and modifies them periodically to meet company needs and managers’ requirements. 54 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 3. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Identifies problems hindering performance and communicates these to own supervisor. 8. Holds regularly scheduled appraisal and performance counseling discussions.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT Line Manager 1. Develops policies and mechanisms for job rotation and monitors these. 8. 7. Conduct job-enrichment program. 4. Assists managers in decisions relating to rewards. Rewards teamwork and collaboration. Arranges training programs for managers. 2. Encourages interaction between subordinates and boss. HRD efforts in an organization are not The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 4. 4. 6. HRD Department 1. 3. Encourages subordinates to develop potential and provides opportunities. Assigns challenging functions and tasks. 3. 2nd Edition. 3. 2. Gives feedback to subordinates about their potential. Assists those who have reached a saturation level in the organization with future career planning. Acknowledges the contributions of his or her subordinates. 4. This discussion makes it clear that human resource development is the joint responsibility of line managers and HRD personnel. If the line managers do not make demands on the HRD department and do not take follow-up action. Helps subordinates assess their own capabilities in relation to possible career paths. Although the HRD department can design and provide instruments for use by line managers. 9. Makes projections about personnel requirements and makes these available to line managers for career counseling. Identifies qualities required for higher-level managerial jobs and incorporates into appraisal systems and development work. Identifies career opportunities in the organization for each subordinate and assesses capabilities to be acquired. HRD Department 1.REINFORCEMENT Line Manager 1. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 55 . Develops systems for providing intrinsic rewards. the line managers have the responsibility for using these instruments (and a variety of other mechanisms) to develop their subordinates. 5. Develops potential-appraisal system. Develops and monitors career-counseling services for employees. Prepares career paths for different roles in the organization. Monitors and recommends new employeereward systems. 3. 2. Prepares a directory of functions and capabilities required to perform them and makes it available to managers. 2.

& Rao. U. India: Oxford & IBH. REFERENCE Pareek. New Delhi. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .. T. Designing and managing human resource systems.likely to succeed. (1981).V. 56 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. The participation of line managers in HRD efforts also increases the managers’ competence to deal with many human problems in other areas of their work.

presentations. into areas such as organizational culture. for being conceptually naive. All of this is extremely important. Consultants often find it difficult to describe to managers what is going on in the client Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. 1980). but is it what organizations need most? Consultants must also be able to move beyond intragroup dynamics (Harris. Organization development consultants must be able to utilize the concepts and theories of OD in the organizational world of the manager. articles. Most definitions of OD agree that it involves planned change. However. that combining OD skills with a total-systems view of the client’s business/service would provide OD consultants with a more relevant perspective. and discussions with consultants indicate that much OD does not fit these definitions. They seldom articulate the complexity. Lewis In the past few years. understanding. interrelationship. in the processes of problem solving. action planning. goal setting. Lundberg. Introspective articles (Burke & Goodstein. William Pfeiffer and Leonard Goodstein (Eds. or manufacturing. and is a process aimed at improving the client system. however. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. law. and in the quality of work life. is long range.„‚ OD WITH A MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE John C. decision making. & Goodstein. San Diego. strategic planning. timeliness. in interpersonal relations. 1981) and conferences have criticized OD for being too limited in scope. Sashkin. and interdependence of the elements of those tasks. concern has been expressed about the future of organization development (OD). MANAGEMENT’S ORGANIZATIONAL WORLD Managers engage in all of their management tasks at various times and with varying degrees of consistency. or is it focused on what practitioners feel is important? Will it survive as a profession? Kegan (1981) suggests that OD will not survive as an independent field and that OD consultants should meld their skills with those of traditionally recognized areas such as finance. The self-doubt is expressed: Is OD relevant? Does it meet the needs of client systems. for using simplistic models. 1980. This article proposes. and for rarely impacting the bottom line. and communicating. for working with only some areas (too low) in the organization. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. and intensity. OD consultants have tended to intervene primarily in team building (Spier. Jones. 1980) to all elements of management. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 57 . and organizational design.). personnel. uses behavioral-science concepts. involves the total organization or a coherent part. enabling them to deal with issues of concern to management and to have greater influence in bringing OD values to the attention of management.

as Tichy and Nisberg (1976) point out. and producing specific results. to communicate in the manager’s language. fed by critical resources. the consultant then approaches the task from this perspective. interacting within its own sphere of operations.system in a way that is comprehensive yet understandable in their frame of reference. Furthermore. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . What is needed is a model that reflects the context of management and demonstrates how OD technology can be applied to all aspects of managing an organization. Existing consulting and organizational models differ among themselves. supported by organizational foundations. the critical element of results is lacking in most. PURPOSE s s s Values Culture Philosophy EXT INTEERNAL RFA CES M GEM ANA ENT OPE RAT IONS GOALS MANAGEMENT PROCESSES s s AL S ERN EXT RFACE TE IN RESOURCES s s s s s s s s s s s Capital People Equipment Supplies Information Planning Problem Solving Integration EXECUTION Control Conflict Management Communicating Informal Interactions Etc. Management’s Organizational World Model 58 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the models reflect the perspective of the behavioral scientist. 2nd Edition. The Management’s Organizational World model (Figure 1) depicts the management team as guided by the overall purpose of the organization. sequential flow of actions that reflect managerial thinking. RESULTS s s s s s s ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES Quantitative #'s Clarity of Direction Productive People Quality Attainment of Purpose Preparation for Future F O U N D A T I O N S Strategy Structure Staffing Systems Technology Figure 1. The model presented here enables OD practitioners to perceive the manager’s point of view. and they do not present a logical. and to explain what OD can do in terms that make sense to managers. interfacing with its environment.

with developing alternatives. Specific areas for consultant consideration are elaborated in Table 1. There is growing evidence that organizations with shared values and a strong culture are more successful. values. the foundations of strategy. addressing these issues: What business are we in? What customers do we serve? Why does this organization exist? What about this organization is different from others in its field? This statement not only specifies the ultimate aims of the organization. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. they must also fit with and support one another. and with energizing activity. its values and culture—both existing and desired—and its management philosophy. and with the formulation of a management philosophy that accurately reflects management’s behavioral expectations. Ability to contribute in these areas is not based on technical or functional knowledge but rather on the ability to help with the decision-making process. In addition to the need for the foundations to support the overall purpose and desired results. The consultant must examine the organization’s stated purpose. the purpose. and management philosophy must be clearly stated. To be effective. and understood throughout the organization. structure. but also directs the formulation of strategy and promotes a sense of shared expectations. The OD consultant can assist management with values clarification. creative ways of thinking. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 59 . communicated. Organizational Foundations In order for the management team to operate effectively. with opening up new. Deal and Kennedy (1982) and Peters and Waterman (1982) provide fertile starting points for working in this area. at best. actions taken to improve conditions within the operating sphere of management will be of short-term benefit. If the foundations are not stable and supportive of the organization’s purpose and desired results. 2nd Edition. Considerable attention must be paid to the process of developing each of the foundation elements. staffing. systems. 1980). and technology must be supportive and congruent.Organizational Purpose A statement of organizational purpose should be comprehensive. Consultants can be extremely valuable in sensing and diagnosing and in exploring the impact and the implications of change on the other elements of the model and on various parts of the organization (Harris. with an understanding of organizational culture and how to develop it.

and open-systems planning. establishing processes. and customers? Is the strategy supportive of the organization’s purpose? STRATEGY What is the basis of assumptions. integration of processes. Does the technology fit the philosophy? Is it adequate for the strategy? Does the technology include automation. change processes. transition processes. differentiations of functions. fit. and management-information systems? SYSTEMS Are their regular. strategy. management and career development. 2nd Edition. or computer-aided design (CAD)? TECHNOLOGY What are the effects of the technology on the work force? Organization development can help in assessment of impact. readiness for change. 60 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. decentralization. how are testing and tracking to be done? Organization development can help with processes. and flexibility. Does the structure support management’s philosophy and strategy? How well does the structure support centralization vs. communication. and meetings? Do the systems facilitate operations and provide helpful mechanisms? Are systems flexible and adaptable to change? Organization development can help in systems establishment. for both the present and the future? Is there career planning and development? Are there appropriate procedures for performance appraisal and promotions? Organization development can help in human resource planning. robotics. personnel. Is the personnel strategy supportive of the business strategy? Does the selection process fit the management philosophy and plans for future growth and change? STAFFING Is there a balance of skills and sufficiency. implementation. and assessment. formal information flows? Are there established policies. Considerations in Examining Organizational Foundations FOUNDATIONS ISSUES FOR CONSULTANT CONSIDERATION Is there long-range direction for the product. creativity. and integration of activities? STRUCTURE Does the structure take into consideration both present work and future growth? Organization development can help with decisions and planning. procedures.Table 1. and structure? Are there adequate financial. computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). coordination. Do the systems fit with the philosophy. technology. logistic. and transition management. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . sociotechnical systems. the span of control. and meetings. assumptions.

Most internal changes are precipitated by shifts in external factors (Burke & Goodstein. The availability of resources will affect management operations and must not be ignored in consulting efforts. problem solving. must consider its desired results. and where results are seen most readily. communicating. collaboratively developed by those responsible for their execution. build commitment and motivation toward their accomplishment. It is this element of management that the consultant should examine first when results are not achieved as desired. This is where most of the work of management happens. Goals follow directly from the organization’s long-range strategy. The process of allocation must reinforce the organization’s foundations. decision making. Challenging but achievable goals. and the resources available. at the same time. and execution. Failure to delegate the responsibility and authority that are necessary to permit people to adequately perform their jobs is another common problem in this area. the technology. it is often the case that various groups operate with different sets of assumptions and expectations. Management Operations The sphere of management operations is where OD consultants have traditionally focused their energies in consulting to management.Resources The major question about resources is whether they are adequate for the strategy of the organization. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Consequently. 2nd Edition. 1980). measurable objectives. it is more fun and more rewarding to concentrate on these elements. Probably the most common contributor to poor teamwork or difficult intergroup relations in organizations is unclear or conflicting roles and responsibilities. This model emphasizes the necessity for proactive and interactive relationships between the organization and the external agencies on which it depends or that can have major impact on it. The five elements in the sphere of management operations are goals. it is where the excitement and energy are. management processes. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 61 . function of management is dealing with the external environment or external interfaces. but frequently neglected. Does the organization have the necessary capital. Organizations often do not make the necessary effort to determine who should do what and with whom. organizing. and should be flexible enough to permit redirection of resources as conditions change. Changes in the environment continually must be factored into an organization’s strategy and may even impact its purpose. satisfy individual needs. external interfaces. supplies. For most consultants. roles/responsibilities. therefore. directing. Each subordinate organization translates the overall strategy into shorter-range. and conflict management. equipment. and information to do what it wants to do? The OD consultant can have an impact in planning for and allocating resources. Individual goals must be supportive of organizational goals and. people. where actions are visible. An extremely critical. At the core of the managerial world are management processes—daily planning.

or unassigned responsibilities? Organization development can help in role clarification. and management philosophy are manifested in the actual management style of the organization. responsibility charting. The best competitive strategies and new product plans can be wasted if management does not execute them effectively. Table 2. Is the organizational environment monitored for opportunities. Considerations in Examining Management Operations 62 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. unions. and relationships of management teams as is paid to these areas on the production floor. (continued). task configurations. competitors.? Are there interactive relations with pertinent external groups? EXTERNAL INTERFACES Are there established procedures and mechanisms for coping with change? Organization development can help in intergroup activities. The consultant should be attuned to how the desired organizational values. conflicting. Table 2 is a sample of some specific considerations for examining management operations. resources. and changes? Is there a proactive response to pressures from owners. Table 2. Considerations in Examining Management Operations MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS ISSUES FOR CONSULTANT CONSIDERATION Do goals support the organization’s purpose and strategy? Are they mutually developed and challenging but achievable? GOALS Are they specific and measurable in time and results? Are goals understood throughout the organization? Organization development can help in goal-setting processes. MBO. structure. government agencies. integration. and desired management style? ROLES/ RESPONSIBILITIES Do people have sufficient responsibility and authority to perform their jobs? Is there monitoring and correction of overlapping. efficient work flows and procedures between functional management groupings. culture. consumers. etc. organizational mirroring. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . role analyses. and review.As much attention should be paid to the flow of work. Are roles and responsibilities delineated and understood? Do roles and responsibilities fit with the organization’s strategy. 2nd Edition. open-systems planning. adequate and timely information and feedback. and intergroup meetings. responsibility charting. and good leadership. Successful execution is enhanced by good projectmanagement techniques. and understanding boundary politics. job redesign. threats.

? What are the integration procedures and mechanisms? Is there transition management? Organization development can help in management-team development. 2nd Edition. values. process consultation. Results The element of results is missing in most OD models. and qualityimprovement programs. survey feedback. profits. etc. Little attention is paid to other important outputs of management. new designs. filtered. Because quantitative results—movements. For most managers “results” means “numbers”—sales.MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS ISSUES FOR CONSULTANT CONSIDERATION Is there anticipatory. openness. and return on investment. control systems. and feedback mechanisms? Are there quality-improvement programs? Are there regular rewards for effective performance toward goals? Organization development can help with sensing and diagnosis. costs. accountability systems. and so on—will be of greatest concern to most clients. reviews. down. margins. complete. bookings. tracking. reward procedures. performance measures. conflict resolution. and management philosophy of the organization? What are the management and leadership styles? Are there established systems for project management. and correction. and communication processes. improvement of management styles. project management. per day amount of inventory shipped. and synergism in the management team? MANAGEMENT PROCESSES How does information flow (up. Are the desired results clearly identified and tied directly to the goals that have been set by the organization? Are they being achieved? The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. but everything else is of little interest to managers if they are not achieving the results that are important to them. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 63 . Is there cross-functional support? EXECUTION How effective are controls. culture and values analysis. and collaborative planning? Is there effective. any discussion of results should probably begin at that point. Does management work reflect the desired culture. timely problem solving? Do managers engage in participation and delegation? Is there trust. yields. iterative. laterally)? Is information timely.

and some control over. there are five other critical results of the management process. To that content. the foundations (particularly systems) and resources. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Are people committed and motivated. and in deciding what needs to be improved. Is the organization doing what it set out to do and in a manner that meets its avowed values and philosophy? Finally. The model can be used with important subordinate organizations as well as for the total organization. a result that is often ignored is preparation for the future. tools. or will it undermine future plans? Are today’s decisions and changes made with the future in mind? Organization development consultants can help management to develop a more complete picture of what the results of its work should be and can support management in determining how to measure results. 2nd Edition. possible areas of concern.In addition to quantitative results. The Management’s Organizational World model is an effective way to describe managerial elements. For a subordinate unit such as a divisional profit center. in defining “good” results. USES OF THE MODEL The Management’s Organizational World model puts the content of management work into a perspective that is workable for both the client and the OD consultant. and skills. the parent organization will certainly have impact on. An examination of results should be the starting point of almost any OD activity with managers. therefore. It is essential. External interfaces for a division include most of those of the larger organization as well as those activities within the company that are external to the division but provide input or support to it or receive output from it. Is what is being done today helping to prepare for the future. that existing process models be used in a manner that is complementary with the model of Management’s Organizational World. The division’s purpose and management philosophy must be studied within the context of the parent organization. The first is clarity of direction. Does the product or service of the organization meet the specifications of management and the customer? How is quality defined and measured. Is it clear what the organization is trying to accomplish and how? Do people know and understand the organization’s direction? The next output of effective management is productive people. consultants add processes and interventions. For Briefing Managers Most OD consultants have difficulty explaining OD to clients. and what is the attitude of the whole organization toward quality? Another important result of management is the attainment of the organization’s purpose. in order to identify the goals of the change strategy. do they feel satisfaction in the way they are treated and in what they are doing? Next comes the question of quality. with minor variations. The multiplicity of interventions that could be appropriate for each of the model’s elements clearly elicits employment of the full range of OD theories. and types of interventions that might be appropriate for 64 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. models.

information flow. resources. the OD „‚ 65 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. It is valuable in describing the organization from an OD perspective while focusing on the totality of management activity. Had the consultant not been using a comprehensive diagnostic process. and feedback mechanisms. all other remedies would be short lived. staffing.” Management’s Organizational World was used as a diagnostic tool. Organizational interventions are inherently complex and require a means to display that complexity without oversimplifying or overgeneralizing. the assessment might have been stopped at this point and corrective action taken. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .various issues. the consultant uncovered problems within management processes in planning. and so on. improvement of managerial processes. rather than helping to improve morale and working relationships. It was clear that until the structural issues were resolved. & Goodstein. It can be entered at any point and tracked in any direction. technology. and integration procedures. The change strategy. for example. interface. therefore. goals. among systems. A change in strategy. as well as external interfaces. Backing up in the model to examine management execution revealed problems with management style. may have implications for structure. and among processes. For example. By understanding and examining all aspects of the organization that affect management operations. it must be perceived by management as contributing to the effectiveness of the organization. The model also can be useful in helping managers to recognize the connections among the various elements of the organization and the need for fit among these elements. it must be perceived as providing solutions to management problems involving people. If the practice of OD is to survive. These were aggravated by unclear roles and responsibilities among units. In addition to the relationships among organizational groups and activities. and roles/responsibilities. An examination of the reasons for the unclear roles revealed that basic structural defects were causing most of the other problems and symptoms. This overview of one use of the model exemplifies the systemic nature of most organizational problems and the need for OD consultants to apply a broader focus (Spier. This analysis revealed that there was a lack of clarity of direction. followed the reverse route of the diagnostic process. it may not be necessary to examine all elements of the model. However. in continuing through the model. 2nd Edition. rather than providing help with “people” problems. then clarification of roles. Jones. Sashkin. 1980) to all aspects of organizational relationships. For many projects. systems. project management procedures. there are the management relationships. it must be perceived as helping to improve organizational effectiveness. a unit manager in an electronics corporation requested OD assistance because his production output was not satisfactory and he wanted to do something “to improve the effectiveness of the production people. beginning with results in an effort to clarify the problem of unsatisfactory output. beginning with structural changes. Thus. As a Diagnostic Tool The model can be used to assess the health of the management group or to assess a specific problem of unknown cause.

& Nisberg.J. (1982). & Waterman. T.W. Organization development: Managing transitions. D. Toward a technology of macrosystem interventions.). 5(4)..N.J. M.).. Burke & L.D. A. R. J.L.). (1982).W. & Kennedy. Deal. Burke & L. R. M. Spier. Trends and issues in OD: Current theory and practice. OE Communique. San Diego.).C. Harris. L. MA: Addison-Wesley.D. C. 286-301.T. Goodstein (Eds. REFERENCES Burke. Trends and issues in OD: Current theory and practice. & Goodstein. 66 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.E. San Diego. DC: American Society for Training and Development. J. Goodstein (Eds. 70-71.S. San Diego. (1981). Corporate cultures: The rites and rituals of corporate life.. New York: Harper & Row.. Kegan. T. Change agent bias: What they view determines what they do.D. Burke & L.. Organization development today: A retrospective applied to the present and the future. (1980).W.M. Trends and issues in OD: Current theory and practice. N. Tichy. (1982). CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Predictions and projections for the decade: Trends and issues in organization development. (1980). Sashkin.consultant can contribute to the enhanced perception—and the enhanced effectiveness— of the field of organization development. What’s wrong with OD? In E. & Goodstein.E.D. W. Reading. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .. In W. (1980). (1976). 1(3).W. Goodstein (Eds.A. In W. Jones. L. Pavlock (Ed. Group & Organization Studies. Peters. 2nd Edition. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. In W. Organization development: Casual careers in a precarious profession. Lundberg.H. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. Washington.. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.D.

sociotechnical system.„‚ SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS THINKING IN MANAGEMENT CONSULTING: A HOLISTIC CONCEPT FOR ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT Arthur Zobrist and Robert E. Rice (1963). and other scholars quickly realized in their studies of industrial firms that imbalances in the social system are difficult to remove as long as “social structures” hinge on the requirements of technological systems. Trist. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 67 . Based on an early recognition of the importance of systems theory. In the United States. William Pfeiffer and Leonard Goodstein (Eds. insulated from its environment. rather than as a closed. the work of Ulrich (1968) and his view of the firm as a “productive social system” greatly contributed to open-systems theory and practice. The members of the Tavistock Group also realized the interdependencies between the business enterprise and its environment. In Great Britain. Systems theory was to become one of the most significant contributions to an array of varied disciplines. Only the simultaneous monitoring and control of their mutual dependencies will bring about optimal and lasting results.). Emery (1969). open-systems theory gained acceptance primarily through the work of Ludwig van Bertalanffy (1968). Higgin. In the German literature. Churchman (1968) and Ackoff (1974) Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. Likewise. and Pollock (1963). Murray. Enggist BACKGROUND: THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS THEORY Norbert Wiener (1948).” gave the first impulse to an emerging science. San Diego. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. or vice versa. Eric Trist and his colleagues developed a framework for viewing the business organization as an open. social organization. the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations contributed significantly to practical applications. will lead to suboptimal results. They contended that every attempt to improve one system (technological) without regard to its counterpart (social). with his classic treatise “Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. they considered isolated analysis of the social structures to be dysfunctional in introducing change and warned that it could distort the explanation of phenomena. 2nd Edition. They argued against the treatment of a business as a closed system.

In particular. Cooper (Ed. these four variables (task. New Perspectives in Organization Research. “Applied Organizational Change in Industry: Structural. people. later.W. different approaches can be chosen. but very useful. and structure) form an interdependent system.J. A change in one variable always has an impact on the others. began to impact American social science (Pasmore & Sherwood.” In W. technology. It is true that the approach did lead to such innovations as the humanization of the work place. including all further subtasks necessary for the accomplishment of the primary task Those who participate in the system All the technical instruments and procedures for task fulfillment All issues of communication. Unfortunately. there are few examples of organizations in which change processes were investigated from a “holistic” perspective. and the creation of autonomous work groups. 2nd Edition. To effect organizational change. Harold Leavitt (1964) published the first simple. he viewed his model as a closed system. 1 68 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. then. TASK: PEOPLE: TECHNOLOGY: STRUCTURE: The purpose of the organization in terms of production of goods and services.introduced holistic and interactive approaches to the planning and management of societal systems. Technical. model of a sociotechnical system (Figure l). New York: John Wiley. 1978). The approach developed at the Tavistock Institute first influenced the European advocates of organization development. Used by permission of William W. Leavitt’s Model of a Sociotechnical System1 In an organization. Leavitt (1964). projects of democratization.). Criticism of the sociotechnical approach comes predominantly from production oriented studies. Leavitt did not mention the Tavistock Institute in his work and drew few direct conclusions from the general systems-theory framework. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Cooper. and work process Figure 1. hierarchy. and Human Approaches. based on From H.

Modern sociotechnical systems thinking in organization development is a synthesis. Effective consulting activities utilize and build on interdisciplinary thinking. Rice. which created the danger of an exaggeration of the human element. The true challenge and potential of sociotechnical systems thinking is in a continuous. the approach attempts to overcome the formal reasoning of the traditional organizational technocrats and the biased posture of Taylor’s management-science approach. visible problems. A humanistic culture runs the risk of getting the wrong solutions to the right problems” (p. R. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and economically “necessary” decisions. Although specific perspectives and competencies are developed by various branches within the social sciences. Although the human-relations movement tried to make people the focus of OD. even if new difficulties are created as a result. adaptive learning process. there has been dialectic tension. the new synthesis is a conceptualization of the interdependencies within the whole system and of its relationship to the environment. SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS THINKING AS AN OD CONCEPT In the development of systems theory. Most thinkers realize that businesses today face the ever-increasing demands of a hectic and dynamic environment. established with his pentagram (Figure 2) a linkage to Leavitt’s model. Taylor’s (1947) techno-economic postulate carried an exclusive emphasis on efficiency and economy of the system. 62). rather than focusing only on organizational psychology. structurally. Harold Bridger (1977). People’s needs did not count.(a) the structural determinants. the pendulum swung to the other side.L. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 69 . 2nd Edition. no one approach forms the basis for analysis or strategy selection in change theory. With the human relations movement. (b) the technological determinants. The attempts of the social sciences to make these adaptations bearable for people are minuscule compared to holistically developing and changing organizations as systems. On the one hand. a colleague of Emery. twenty years after Leavitt’s article the structural and technological elements still dominate in organizational change. or (c) the social determinants. Ackoff (1981) recently described the dynamic and dialectic nature of organizational problem solving: “A technocratic culture runs the risk of getting the right solutions to the wrong problems. The structural and technological determinants of change affect the solution of existing. The concept of organizations as purposeful systems that can be understood only in terms of their relationship to the environment has gained wide acceptance among scholars as well as practitioners of management. and Trist. On the other hand. The social determinant is essentially manipulative and affects resistance to technically.

and dependencies The primary purpose and task of the organization in terms of delivering goods and services at a profit. claims. 2 70 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. education. “The Value of the Organization’s Own Systems in Coping with Stress. communication and leadership structures. group and peer ties. control and monitoring systems.ENVIRONMENT: PEOPLE: GOAL SETTING AND TASKS: TECHNOLOGY: STRUCTURES: MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES: LEADERSHIP PROCEDURES: The organization as a system in a continuous exchange with a turbulently changing environment Values. wage and salary systems. Administrative resources and procedures. etc. accounting. New York. marketing. information systems. and promotion systems. Division of labor. etc. attitudes.” Proceedings of the International Committee on Occupational Mental Health Congress. evaluation. investment goods. Balancing and design processes that are required to run the entire system. sales advertising. production. Figure 2. Selection. hierarchy. leadership behavior. 2nd Edition. power relationships. Bridger’s Pentagram Describing a Sociotechnical System2 Harold Bridger (1977). organizational structure. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .

present.. its performance (in terms of breakdowns and disturbances). b. the framework becomes multidimensional. leadership.. departments. permitting a more effective use of well-known OD techniques. as well as a projection of scenarios for its future. rather than in the interaction between elements or subsystems. existing conditions. and constraints. The dynamic processes between subsystems and elements. The system in its relation to the environment: a. 2nd Edition. and c. and future reactions of the system to environmental influences. or in exchanges between systems and the environment.g. The Bridger model has three critical dimensions: its purpose (to diagnose exchanges between and within its systems and its environment). possibilities. tasks. structures. functions). 2. The mode by which the system recognizes and takes advantage of these possibilities (opportunities). and future developments in the environment. and its structure (systems and subsystems). The Diagnosis We are accustomed to looking for deviations and their causes within elements (e. If we view Bridger’s pentagram not only as an internal process between elements and their relation to the environment but also in a longitudinal perspective. The parts (elements). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 71 . Necessary past.g. The system production that flows back to the environment as output or performance. production control). It makes little sense to consider only the present without an understanding of the organization and its history. The system itself: a. the social structure) of a system or subsystem (e. The sociotechnical systems approach is not a new form of organization development. technology. and b. present. We also often forget that development includes the factor of time—the evolution from the past to the present and to a future state. b.Each organization exists because of and with its past. 1. present. with their specific values. Past. The requirements of the environment imposed on the system. The time component (longitudinal): a. 3. and instruments. The subsystems (divisions. It is an attempt to provide a framework that can lead to a holistic understanding of organizations. and future. and c. human resources. A diagnosis for an intervention strategy is sound only if all the following aspects are considered.

3. Elements and subsystems are interdependent. as such. i.e. are viable only in mutual interaction with and adaptation to the changing environment CONSIDERATIONS IN APPLYING THE SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS APPROACH TO ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT The Institute for Organizational Psychology espouses the following analytical procedure as a first step in introducing organizations to OD. In order for the system to regain a state of balance. and 3. organizational units. but it also can be caused or influenced by: 1. 2. 72 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Organizations as sociotechnical systems can only be understood holistically. 5.. 2. Summary The main points of the preceding discussion are: 1.Breakdowns and Disturbances Insufficient performance of a system can be caused by outside factors such as failure to adapt to the environment or higher ranking metasystems. it is necessary to discover the key deviations and their causes. The difference between a traditional view of organizations and a sociotechnical perspective is shown in Figure 3. The past. 2nd Edition. Changes in one element or subsystem always influence other elements or subsystems. Systems and Subsystems Every organization can be divided into subsystems. Exclusive focus on one element or subsystem without simultaneous attention to other subsystems leads to suboptimal results and new disturbances. the overall system functions as a “system-internal environment” to the subsystems. 6. Problems in the relationship between one element and another and the resulting tensions. 4. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . present. Organizations are open systems and. Mutation of one element without simultaneous adjustment for the impact on other elements. The pentagram (Figure 2) depicting the entire organization also applies to the individual subsystems. Thus. Deficiencies within an element of the system itself. and future stages of the organization must be considered.

2. Have the participants picture their organization through the framework of the pentagram. Represent and explain Bridger’s pentagram (this usually takes no more than ten minutes). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. A Comparison of Traditional and Sociotechnical Views of Organizations Purpose 1. Figure 4 is a questionnaire that can be used to ascertain the most important points. 2. as well as the essential environmental influences that affect the activities and performance potential of the organization. Define specific elements such as goals. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 73 . this step will take approximately one hour. structures. 2nd Edition. tasks. To recognize sensitive areas. Procedure 1. leadership processes and procedures. To understand the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise from a holistic. organizational perspective. and people.Figure 3. To learn to apply the holistic perspective as an instrument. 3. Generally. technology.

Identify the actual problems. What are the main tasks and what characterizes them? 3. Where do we see the effects of these factors on the work and on management? 3. What are the key characteristics of the particular business environment? GOALS/TASKS 1. These usually result from the daily interactions among the various organizational elements. What key leadership procedures and processes are implemented in the organization? 2. strengths/weaknesses. What questions. 4. Share the most important discoveries in a plenary session (about fifteen minutes). overlapping areas. What are the deficiencies and advantages of the individual procedures? 4. What are the major problems that the organization experiences in setting goals/objectives and in establishing tasks? STRUCTURES 1. What are the characteristics of the individual structures? 3. This generally takes about one hour. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . What are the most important aspects of and changes in the environment? 2. ENVIRONMENT 1. problems. another questionnaire is presented in Figure 5. What are the consistencies. For this purpose. Are these procedures coordinated and focused? 3. issues. What different structures exist within the organization? 2. Is there a need for more leadership procedures or processes? Figure 4. 2nd Edition. or conflicts result from these structures? LEADERSHIP PROCEDURES 1.3. and sensitive areas. and inconsistencies among the structures? 4. What strengths and weaknesses. or problems result from this task profile? 4. Questions for Identifying Elements of the Pentagram 74 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and what kind of supports. The most important results of the discussion can be recorded on this form. What are the essential goals of the enterprise? 2.

)? 2. Are the rest of the elements coordinated with respect to the goals/objectives and tasks? 4. procedures. Where are the strengths and weaknesses in the interactions among elements? 5. What are the sensitive points that repeatedly cause frictions.PEOPLE 1. labor market. productivity. What are the primary characteristics of the employees (education and training. problems. What is the organization’s greatest strength vis-a-vis the environment (competitive advantage. What are the major factors in the organization’s environment that influence the work? 2. behaviors. 2nd Edition. and technologies that determine the work processes? 2. Questions for Identifying Interactions Among the Elements of the System The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Questions for Identifying Elements of the Pentagram ENVIRONMENT 1. etc. What characteristic environmental problems arise? 3. What kinds of changes are foreseen for the next several years? Figure 4 (continued). or conflicts? Figure 5 . What factors within the system most influence goal attainment (positively/negatively)? 2. What is the organization’s most obvious weakness? GOALS/TASKS 1. What attitudes. Which elements of the system are most affected by changes in goals and tasks? 3. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 75 . methods. What are the essential resources. etc. What are the characteristics of the production and service processes? 3. What similarities and differences exist among various employee groups? 4. and values do the workers bring to the job? 3. Is it possible to characterize the human climate? Are there any typical traits that distinguish the organization from its competitors? TECHNOLOGIES 1.)? 5. In which elements of the system are the interactions with the environment most visible? 4.

and sources of conflict? Figure 5 (continued). What is the basic attitude of various employee groups toward the organization? 2. Are the structures supportive of the needs and capabilities of the leadership (management) and the work force? 4. What are the effects of these attitudes on performance and teamwork? 3. and procedures serve as an incentive to full involvement (motivational effectiveness)? 5. What major strengths/weaknesses result from the structures interacting with other elements in the system? LEADERSHIP PROCEDURES 1.)? 3. 2nd Edition. composition of work force. What are the most significant strengths and weaknesses in the leadership procedures and their application? PEOPLE 1. Are the existing leadership procedures and processes focused on the specific goals/objectives and tasks? 2. Are managers sufficiently trained in using the procedures (e. other procedures.. problem areas. performance evaluation)? 4. Do the employees feel that the structures. What influences and changes from the outside are expected? What reexamination of the present procedures might these changes entail? 5.g. technologies. etc.STRUCTURES 1. Do the structures facilitate a rational use of resources and technologies? 6. Are the existing structures useful for the attainment of the goals and tasks? 2. How do people adapt to or cope with these structures? 3. How do managers and their subordinates adapt to the existing structures? 4. Where are the biggest obstacles. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Questions for Identifying Interactions Among the Elements of the System 76 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Do these procedures fit the organization’s specific social and technical realities (technologies. Do the structures encourage cooperation and collaboration? 5.

If we are convinced that sociotechnical systems thinking represents an appropriate basis for our strategies. it also should be viewed in its essentially literal sense. What and where are the most important strengths and weaknesses between technology (including processes and procedures) and the other elements of the system? Figure 5 (continued)..TECHNOLOGIES 1. they become “interactivists. rather than accepting the future that appears to confront them. an array of implications for practical work results. Do changes produce resistance? 3. but a series of pragmatic strategies to help organizations perform tasks. When technological changes occur. they begin to perceive planning as the design of a desirable future and the invention of ways to bring it about. as a purposefully conceptualized activity for the development of an organization. Is there a timely attempt to prepare people for technological and organizational changes. training. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 77 . or participatory decision making? 5. through personnel management. Questions for Identifying Interactions Among the Elements of the System PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT CONSULTING IN ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT Although organization development often is a problem-solving activity.g. e. Requirements for Consultants Organization development is not a model or a closed-system discipline. are the structures and processes adapted or modified accordingly? 4. To use Ackoff’s (1981) terminology. Organization development professionals who are exposed to sociotechnical systems thinking as a planning and decision-making tool quickly realize the strategic orientation of the approach. How do changes in procedures and support systems affect people and structures in the organization? 2. The consciously planned development of organizations facilitates the accomplishment of useful and constructive contributions to society that are mindful of the present as well as the future. 2nd Edition. This requires a holistic approach—the inclusion of all elements of the sociotechnical system in analytical The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. It is not enough to avoid uncontrolled developments and changes.” that is.

Creating new problems while attempting to solve others. and experience in dealing with organizational structures and leadership systems. Only then is he or she likely to be successful in avoiding the following mistakes: 1. From the perspective of sociotechnical systems thinking. A fruitful cooperation is not possible if the two parties have divergent views of 78 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Develop know-how and sensitivity in dealing with the change processes in a turbulent. 5. rather than facing the challenges of a continuous learning process and living with the uncertainty such growth entails. dynamic environment. In order to conceptualize intervention and interaction strategies with a social-science focal point. Looking for problems in areas in which the consultant feels competent instead of where they actually exist. 3. one can derive a number of positive consequences from such cooperation. the bias of those with whom he or she engages in debate and conversation. 2. The OD professional must be ready for a critical dialogue that is based in reality yet open to continuous adaptive learning. Acquire expertise in the social and behavioral sciences. the consultant must be acquainted with the influences and dependencies of all processes. 4. rather than reducing. 3. Develop specific knowledge. Shared Values and Positions The client and consultant initially must clarify their positions and values with each other. along with the capability to merge that knowledge base with the contributions of experts from other disciplines. The OD consultant must measure his or her competence in the field in terms of the requirements of the sociotechnical system. general knowledge of all the elements of the system to be worked on. The consultant must develop a collaborative decisionmaking process in which both parties have their own responsibilities and rights. Determine the basic structure of the organization. skills. Develop a well-grounded. Enhancing. Developing patent remedies and marketing them. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 2nd Edition. 2.efforts. but this serves neither well. This ambitious goal can be achieved only if OD consultants prepare themselves as follows: 1. 4. Teamwork Between the Consultant and the Client It is a great temptation for the consultant to make executive decisions for the client.

to achieve concrete. and 3. In order to be able to solve concrete problems arising from an ineffective interplay among the elements in a sociotechnical system—or between the system and the environment—one must define the premises that are amenable to analysis. According to a study by von Clare Graves (quoted from Mitchell. 2nd Edition. stress is indispensable for change and development. there is little chance for development or for solving existing problems. It requires expertise. present. Three prerequisites must exist for this to be possible: 1. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. well-established diagnostic instruments. 1970. A conscious and insightful motive that is based in reality. because of the complexity of the tasks in question. The issue is one of becoming convinced that only mutual acceptance and support will generate true problem solving. A primary task of the consultant is to help the client learn how to cope with stress and its uncertainties. combining all available resources of the client with those of the consultant becomes a must. the consultant is better off rejecting the contract. and the development of a workable relationship between the client and the consultant. Energy and courage as positive forces to initiate the development of a proactive and reactive mode. 2. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 79 . The consultant assumes responsibility for professional competence and for his or her readiness to determine with the client a basis for recommendations. Collaboration and Responsibility The collaborative approach between consultant and client has been described many times in the literature (Argyris.basic issues. The most essential prerequisite appears to be the readiness—oriented to past. stress) as a motivational basis for change. 1977). Vansina. planned changes. Dissatisfaction with the present state (i. There is far more involved than the withholding of information or constraint of the information base.e. If there is no consensus capable of standing the load. 1976). When one of these three conditions is lacking. From the sociotechnical point of view. The necessary diagnostic work to examine the existence or absence of these conditions is an important part of the start-up of an OD project. Mitigating and Facilitating Conditions for Development and Change It would be a mistake to assign to the consultant all the responsibility for the success of sociotechnical systems approaches.. The responsibility for fundamental decisions that affect the system and its changes always rests with the client. and future—to continually wrestle with reality and to refrain from attempting to project Utopia onto reality.

San Diego. A. & M. The systems approach. G. W.. Reading. (1978). Murray. Higgin. Applied organizational change in industry: Structural.. & Pollock.). New York: Harper & Row.Principles for the Establishment and Maintenance of the Client-Consultant Relationship The consultant should avoid building client dependencies or permanent relations that are not warranted by the tasks and problems to be solved. Systems thinking: Selected readings. Emery (Ed. New York: John Wiley. In A. New York: John Wiley. R. (1977. 80 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (1963). England: Penguin Books.A. C.. E. London. Reducing organizational stress.K. Die unternehmung als produktives soziales system. Bridger. Ackoff. (1977).E. England: Tavistock. London. Emery. Argyris.W. MA: Addison-Wesley. H. In F. (1969). H. H. joint evaluation and step-by-step decision making regarding the project when new aspects or consequences emerge or when interim goals have been accomplished.). New perspectives in organization research. Cooper (Ed. Sociotechnical systems: A source book. Sociotechnical systems. there must be continuous. Leavitt. (1968). Proceedings of the International Committee on Occupational Mental Health Congress.E. The enterprise and its environment. E. CA: Stanford Research Institute. New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.L. May 10-12). Redesigning the future. REFERENCES Ackoff. F. (1964). Pasmore. Menlo Park.J.L. technocratic. The social sciences can make a contribution in this area. McLean. G. New York: Delacorte Press.. (1970). leading away from an overly organized. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . R. J.. Churchman.W.J.B. Intervention theory and method.L. Taylor. and human approaches. & Sherwood. Black. England: Tavistock. A. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. CONCLUSION The sociotechnical systems approach offers the best opportunity to analyze the problems of today’s organizations and to develop workable solutions. F. In W. Organizational choice.). New York: John Wiley. Colligan (Eds. Rice. A. (1963).W. Germany: Verlag Paul Haupt. (1947). London. (1981). Switzerland & Stuttgart. Finally. 2nd Edition. (1974). Ulrich. C. Creating the corporate future. H. Trist.W. Mitchell.L. Each party also must be at liberty to end the partnership if certain basic conditions are not fulfilled. technical. Bern. The effects of stress on individuals and society. (1968). & Trist. work environment toward a more meaningful world in which the applied sciences and institutions exist for people and society and not vice versa. The value of the organization’s own systems in coping with stress. Scientific management.

L.S. (1976). Personal goals and work design. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 81 . Cybernetics: Or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge. (1968). New York: John Wiley. New York: George Braziller. applications. MA: MIT Press. N. In P. (1961).Vansina. Warr (Ed. General systems theory: Foundations. L. Von Bertalanffy. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Wiener. Beyond organization development. 2nd Edition. development.).

Many systems of performance appraisal that look so impressive on paper often degenerate into meaningless exercises (McGregor. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Pfeiffer (Ed.R. Although we have an abundance of theories. There are numerous examples in the HRD literature of implementations that have “missed the target.” s “Management by objectives works. we appear to lack sufficient understanding of how any particular management approach should be introduced. things often do not work out as expected. © 1985 by Patrick Doyle and Richard Tindal.W. 82 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1976). as Robert Burns pointed out two centuries ago.” says Peter Drucker. Many organizations have embraced new budgeting techniques such as program budgeting. 2nd Edition. San Diego. PPBS (planning-programming-budgeting system). common-sense approaches to organizational excellence. This may be why management by objectives (MBO) has not always lived up to its advance billing. and zero-base budgeting. s Originally published in The 1987 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. It is the transition between what a particular management theory or concept says should happen and what the manager actually does. Tindal The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang oft aglee Robert Burns (“To a Mouse”) Ground zero is the point at which managers must convert the organization’s philosophy or management “style” into management practices. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . these approaches seldom are applied successfully. Used with permission.„‚ IMPACT AT GROUND ZERO: WHERE THEORY MEETS PRACTICE Patrick Doyle and C. Ninety percent of the time you don’t” (Tarrant. “if you know the objectives. Systematic or large-scale reproduction or distribution may be done only with prior written permission of the authors. s s Although Peters and Waterman (1982) and others have described various.). only to abandon each in disillusionment. 1957) involving the completion of forms to satisfy the personnel department. The answers to these dilemmas are to be found at ground zero: the critical point at which any of these management concepts and approaches actually must be implemented. This article may be freely used for educational training activities. However.

Characteristics of America’s best-run companies were revealed in a search for excellence (Peters & Waterman. 1958. 1982. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 83 . Peters & Austin. Hersey & Blanchard. Rice. the need for management theories has been defended strongly (Granger. Dickson & Roethlisberger. In addition. often cited as the beginning of humanistic management practices. 1981) but which they have failed to practice (Hayes. Theories change continually and often contradict one another. s s Theories of Management Are Important Even though their diversity presents problems. To manage successfully in today’s organizations. 1982.implemented. 1966. 1952) is important. Pascale & Athos. We must appreciate the fact that theory and practice do not exist as independent extremes on the scale of management alternatives. 1982). 1981). Although the “Japanese style of management” (Theory Z) has been advocated as the wave of the future (Ouchi. Shepard. it does what it knows well. 1971).” whereas “theory is dynamic” (Urwick. managers must understand theories of management and must be able to translate them The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. We need to know more about what happens— and what should happen—at ground zero. 1982. s There still is some controversy about the reasons for the effects cited in the Hawthorne Studies (Carey. Theory enables us to build contingency plans for future practices and to consider the influence of change on today’s methods. 1967. we are told that Japanese management has its own problems and that many of the popular beliefs about Japanese management are either myths or are no longer true because of changes in the nature of the Japanese work force (Kobayashi. Landesberger. we have learned that the Japanese are only practicing management techniques about which Americans have known (Wheelwright. Practice without theory is a one-way ticket to obsolescence. 1981. then some of these same companies experienced organizational problems. the second part of this article will provide prescriptions for turning theory into practice more effectively. 1985). PROBLEMS IN IMPLEMENTING MANAGEMENT THEORY Everybody Has an Answer Much of the confusion in the implementation of theory arises from the plethora of theories and concepts being advocated today. The concept that “practice is static. Theory without practice is a luxury that organizations cannot afford. The following will help to illustrate this. 1964). measured. and monitored. The first part of this article will list some of the problems in attempting to implement theories and describe the symptoms of those problems. 1986).

2nd Edition. are of limited interest to achievement-driven managers. Symbols over Substance When Ouchi. Thus. trainers.into specific practices. Furthermore. achievers continually look for activities that they can complete. Some of them are characterized by reaction (doing something) without proaction (planning what to do). Because achievers have the tendency to jump in and do things themselves. where theory meets practice. Activities such as conceptualizing and planning to meet the organization’s needs fifteen years in the future do not have high visibility and. Most of them. which call for less doing and more planning. In their search for reinforcement. organizations have engaged in a form of show and tell. rather than to invest the time needed to train their subordinates (McClelland. many organizations immediately established quality circles. so is its impact on the organization when achievers are promoted into senior management positions. however. Although such behavior is understandable. Such managers require high reinforcement. Apart from the confusing array of highly touted theories. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Being noticed is prerequisite to promotion. a large number of managers have ascended the hierarchical ladder because they are achievement driven. one that is highly visible or “high profile. They did not change their basic attitudes or ways of operating. adopted only the symbols of Japanese management styles. there are a number of other reasons for the frequent failures at ground zero. accomplished by “doing” and “completing” things. When promoted. and others wrote about the benefits of the Japanese approach to management. many announced their commitment to worker involvement in decision-making processes. But they are noticed in organizations. Managers must learn to function effectively at ground zero. Pascale. the achiever tends to look for a “new” approach to managing the organization. They are more interested in something with a not-too-distant completion date and with high visibility. there is little interest in detailed follow-up or in monitoring activities on a daily basis. they may be poor teachers. they usually are at the center of any activity.” Unfortunately. and a few considered lifetime-employment practices. “Achiever” Managers and Change for Change’s Sake One of the reasons that many organizations superficially embraced one theory after another without giving sufficient attention and time to any of them is that managers today are expected to implement changes. 1976). or mentors. working toward its rapid completion. embracing the terminology and the trappings of a fashionable theory but not (a) understanding the purpose and elements of the theory or (b) training those who were expected to implement the theory well enough to make the substantive changes that were necessary to support the new approach. an organization that is led by achievers may be introduced 84 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The achiever tends to be impatient with the lengthy time frames needed to implement most management theories. In attempting to keep up with the latest management practices. thus.

there may not be much of a basis for measuring change. The manager would be ignoring the need for innovative and problem-solving objectives that go beyond the basic job description of the employee and help to ensure the adaptability and survival of the organization. a manager may introduce MBO to a subordinate by claiming that “All you do is write out as objectives the things that you are already doing. 2nd Edition. s Simple solutions often are associated with rapid implementation and fast results. The manager also would be disregarding the fundamental change that should now occur in the basis of evaluating the employee’s performance. There are a number of reasons why the auditing and follow-up stages may be neglected or ineffective. As a result. it also will be obvious to others. s Unless one is very clear at the outset about the objectives of the new approach and the results that are expected. Another complicating factor is the belief that one can simplify change by presenting it as not being change. primarily to cater to the achievers’ needs to be doing things. it is more likely that the individuals involved understood the purpose of the change but reached different conclusions about its validity. These are but two of the major implications of MBO that are ignored when a manager attempts to pass it off as nothing more than a change in terminology. easily accepted. thus. In fact. the excuse often is that those involved failed to understand the purpose and importance of the change (presumably because it was too complicated). This psychology is part of management’s belief that understanding a change is equivalent to acceptance of the change. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. But this approach virtually ensures future complications and difficulties. It also is unlikely that merely because a need and proposed solution is obvious to one person or group. when planned change is unsuccessful.” s Such an approach may be quite comforting to the employee in the short run. When faced with the need to introduce change. The Search for the Simple Solution In their desire to find solutions that will have predictable success. The search for the simple solution is likely to be based on several questionable beliefs. Failure To Follow Through Much of the difficulty at ground zero is caused by failure to audit the implementation of the theory being adopted. it’s nothing more than a change in terminology. The assumption is made that simple solutions are easily understood and. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 85 .to a new management theory or concept every two or three years. managers may attempt to convince employees that they already are operating in the desired manner: For example. People often prefer stability and continuity—both of which are insinuated by the manager’s comments. managers may seek simplistic answers.

such managers would anticipate two or three major changes in responsibility in that period of time. 1971). The search for a quick and simple solution often leads to the adoption of MBO before the organizational climate is prepared for it. Typically. If one is able to follow through and measure results. From three to four years are necessary to implement the concept successfully. auditing the implementation of a theory may be seen as (a) too much trouble and (b) risky. Avoiding the followthrough phase avoids the strains and repercussions. Bad news does not ascend well and tends to become filtered or watered down at each successive level. one may not like what one finds. Similarly. 1972). Another problem is that the installation of MBO requires a great deal of time (Odiorne. specific changes rather than with an overall strategy of change—a framework within which change will take place. s Failure To Focus on Strategy Organizations tend to deal with isolated. the implementation of MBO may be passed to several different managers. As a result. 1982) by instituting awards nights and service pins for employees without otherwise changing the ways in which they treat their employees. Such long-term results are generally beyond the time focus of the achiever managers to whom the implementation of change is assigned. McConkey. Many organizations have responded to the publication In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Peters & Waterman. the concept of management by walking around (MBWA) has encouraged some managers to try to avoid spending more than 25 86 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Without auditing and follow through. it is questionable whether there is any point in introducing any organizational change. Particularly if a change has been directed primarily for the sake of change. An effective auditing program may confront management with the fact that the planned change has not been successful. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . McConkey (1967) states that there must be a foundation of trust within the organization prior to the introduction of MBO. These requirements have a striking contrast to typical characteristics of achiever managers. 1972. MBO is often introduced as a solution to a lack of trust in an organization. it is likely that someone will have to accept responsibility for the failure. each of whom is anxious to see the task completed as quickly as possible. Building trust is a slow. it still is difficult to translate objectives into measurable work standards that are suitable for auditing purposes. Ironically. 2nd Edition. laborious undertaking that requires patience and the ability to accept disappointments when progress is not as rapid as anticipated (Argyris.s Even if the process begins with objectives. It requires meticulous consideration of detail in dealing with others. and if lack of success is documented rather than merely suspected. however. Other Examples There are many other examples of a misdirected focus on specifics rather than on overall strategy.

THE SOLUTIONS The following prescriptions can increase a manager’s effectiveness at ground zero— turning theory into practice. it may be effective to begin with a pilot project in a department or section that is most enthusiastic about the proposed change. Don’t Crusade Alone It is foolish to introduce a new management system or concept unless there is strong commitment from senior management. 4. Obviously. Bring Everyone on Board Training programs should be developed to familiarize all concerned with the change being introduced and with the specific ways in which they (or their responsibilities) will be affected. of course—need to be answered in an implementation plan: Who will be responsible for implementing the change? Will the change be introduced throughout the organization simultaneously? When will the change be introduced? What resources will be required to handle the implementation? What follow-up steps will be needed to monitor progress toward implementation? 2. Those responsible for implementing change should attempt to assess its probable impact and should develop appropriate strategies to deal with those The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. but the overall strategy is missing. 3. The specifics may be there. Customized training should take into account the distinctive features of the organization. However. in order to ensure a common understanding of the nature and purpose of the change. However. Be Sensitive to the Various Impacts of Change Within the Organization and Among Individuals The introduction of new management theory does not affect all parts of the organization equally. the nature of the impact on the person’s work will influence the degree of reaction and resistance that can be anticipated. 1. to introduce a change when opinions are sharply divided or when key members of the management team are strongly opposed is almost certainly futile. resulting in a new version of MBWA: management by wandering aimlessly.percent of their time in their offices. most of them are not sure what to do with the other 75 percent of their time. In general. 2nd Edition. The following questions—along with others. Under certain circumstances. Plan Before You Plunge The change process should begin with the development of a comprehensive plan for implementation. Interest in and support for the change need not be unanimous. managers do not respond favorably to being told to attend a seminar or read a book about an imposed change. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 87 . Some individuals are more directly affected than others.

who are likely to feel threatened (Doyle, 1985). The insights gained from such analysis should be reflected in any implementation plans and training programs.

5. Implement the Entire Change Strategy, Not Just Slogans
Specific management practices take place within a strategy, and both the strategy and the practice must remain within the focus of the manager. For example, a program to generate a positive customer orientation in employees requires that the employees also be treated in a positive, adult manner. In the same vein, superficial compliments or rewards will not enhance productivity if employees are otherwise managed in a dictatorial or competitive environment. One organization had been attempting to develop excellence and had placed great emphasis on “concern for employees,” evidenced by forms of recognition such as service pins and awards. An employee of this organization stated that he found it more productive to work part of the time at home because of the convenience of his microcomputer and research materials there. His manager, however, was unable to cope with this exception to the normal working arrangements. Not surprisingly, the negative effect of the manager’s refusal to consider alternatives more than offset the positive effect to the employee (and his colleagues) of the awards and service pins. Although the awards were symbolic, the manager’s actions were seen as substantive and as indicative of the organization’s real attitude toward employees.

6. Measure, Monitor, Modify, and Maximize
If changes are to be implemented effectively, there must be follow-through. “People respect what you inspect” (Argyris, 1982). In one organization, a training auditor was appointed to ascertain that the practices of the managers were consistent with the training that had been conducted. The auditor met periodically with the operating managers to determine, through discussion and review of documents, whether the training was having an impact on their activities (at ground zero). Managers who had attended a seminar on reinforcing employees were asked to show any recent letters of appreciation sent to their subordinates. Samples of performance-appraisal documents were examined in the case of managers who had attended a seminar on this topic. As a consequence of this follow-up, managers applied the training suggestions more faithfully than is the norm in organizations that do not conduct such an audit. In addition, the findings of the auditor led to improvements in the training program.

7. Use Time as a Tool
The implementation of almost any theory is measured in years, not months. Do not expect quick results or allow staff members to expect overnight improvements. Such expectations lead only to disillusionment and often result in loss of commitment and the eventual abandonment of the attempt. Time is a tool in implementing any change; as one

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thing “takes,” it makes it easier for others to follow. People must become accustomed to new ideas and new procedures and they must be allowed time to learn ways to implement them most effectively. Feedback on progress and midcourse correction should be built into the change process.

8. Reinforce Desired Behavior and Highlight Progress
Because the successful implementation of change can be a long, slow process, it is important to demonstrate that progress is being made. In the early stages of the implementation of a theory, employees may place more emphasis on the lack of change or the negative aspects of the change (Schein, 1969) than on its positive aspects. Managers must be sensitive to the fact that their actions will be scrutinized closely by employees for evidence of the new strategy. Managerial behavior that is inconsistent with the theory is likely to override the organization’s intended message. A systematic follow-up procedure makes it possible to measure progress. Through the use of reinforcement techniques, individuals can be encouraged to continue their efforts in the desired direction. Moreover, the evidence that progress is being made may help to win over some of the doubters and resisters. Although specific changes in management approaches can be highly visible in a short period of time, overall strategies are not as visible and take place over a longer period of time. Therefore, reinforcement efforts must highlight the relationship between the two so that the gradual progression of theory into practice (the transition at ground zero) is recognized and appreciated by all employees.

9. Confront and Deal with Dysfunctional Behavior
It is important that dysfunctional behavior not be tolerated or ignored. The difficulty here is that in many organizations low performance levels and other problems have been tolerated for a long time by managers who are eager to avoid conflict. Faced with the task of implementing change, such managers still will be inclined to avoid confrontation if it is at all possible. Although they may be in favor of the change and willing to encourage those who perform in the desired manner, they will try to avoid taking action in connection with the nonperformers. If managers are allowed to ignore dysfunctional behavior, the organization again is sending out conflicting messages to its employees. In such a situation, the momentum for change may be checked, and the entire effort may be undermined. This problem has been described as “the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B” (Kerr, 1975).

10. Beware the Half-Way Blues
As Yogi Berra once remarked, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.” Following the rules outlined here and proceeding well with implementation for a year or so is gratifying; the danger is that it can lead to a false sense of complacency—a feeling that the battle has been won. At this point, an organization is likely to experience the “half-way blues” and a

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loss of commitment. The newness of the change effort has worn off, and the desire of the achiever managers for instant success has made them restless and anxious to try something new. A well-designed implementation plan and follow-up procedure can help to head off this midpoint slump.

11. Nail Down the implementation: Integrate the Change into the System
The challenge at this point is to ensure the continuance of the change. Too often, an initiative is introduced with great fanfare, superficially accepted, and yet gradually eroded as time passes (Watson & Glaser, 1965). There may not have been open resistance. The change may not be officially withdrawn. It just does not last! What is needed is continuing positive reinforcement and efforts to make the new approach a familiar and routine part of the day-to-day activities of the organization. In addition, provision should be made for continuing evaluation of the change and continuing maintenance efforts to prevent erosion and backsliding (Watson & Glaser, 1965).

The secret to effective utilization of new management theories is to avoid change simply for change’s sake and to attempt to implement only those practices that will aid the organization in accomplishing its mission more effectively—those for which there is a need. Dabbling with management theories does more harm than good. If a change is determined to be wise, the substance of the theory must be understood and promoted, not just the trappings. Saying that something will be done does not do it; special attention must be paid to the specific implementation plan. Implementation must be consistent; the process of implementation must be monitored; and follow-up procedures must be installed. Finally, sufficient time must be allowed (without a slackening of effort and with the provision of positive reinforcement) for the change to become part of the procedure of the organization. A long time ago, someone said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

A Checklist for Managers
An organization that is introducing new management practices imposes additional demands on its managers, who must understand not only the new theory but also the strategy used to implement it and the implications for the organization of various changes in behavior. The checklist that follows is designed to stimulate a manager’s thinking about how he or she might proceed when called on to take part in the introduction of a new theory or management system. Reviewing this checklist may help the manager to think of other questions that need to be asked. The challenge is to relate the overall strategy for the proposed change to the actual operating capabilities of the organization.

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Characteristic of the Strategy
1. Does the strategy assume that a specific type of groundwork has been laid (e.g. that trust exists within the organization)?

Implication for Practices
Given my present managerial practices, do the employees have reason to believe that the groundwork is in place?

If not: How can I begin to establish that foundation so that the strategy will have an increased probability of success? What is a reasonable amount of time for this activity?

2. Does the strategy assume specific managerial skills? (E.g., many strategies require good communication skills.)

Do I have those skills to the degree necessary for successful implementation of the strategy?

If not: Am I able to acquire those skills to the degree required? How will I acquire the skills? What is a reasonable amount of time for this activity?

3. What assumptions does the strategy make about employees? (E.g., maturity level, ability to cope with ambiguity, commitment to organizational goals, level of needs, desire to improve the situation, etc.) If not: How serious are the discrepancies?

In the case of my organization, are these assumptions valid?

Will they significantly influence the outcome of the change effort? Must the discrepancies be handled before implementation or can this be part of the implementation design? What is a reasonable amount of time for this activity?

4. What assumptions does the strategy make about the operational climate of the organization? (E.g., does it assume a “Theory X” or “Theory Y” approach?)

Does the operational climate of the organization coincide with that assumed by the theory?

If not: How important is the climate to the success of the theory? Do changes need to be made prior to implementation or can they be attempted as part of the implementation effort? If changes are required prior to implementation, what is a reasonable amount of time for this activity?

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Characteristic of the Strategy
5. What assumptions does the strategy make about the economic environment of the organization? (E.g., is the organization currently experiencing reductions in staff, shortage of needed resources, arguments about priorities, or other major problems?)

Implication for Practices
Is the economic environment of the organization conducive to successful implementation?

If not: Can the economic problem be overcome during implementation? How long would implementation be delayed if we were to wait until a more conducive economic environment exists? What can be done to change the situation? How long will this take?

6. What assumptions does the strategy make about the commitment of top management? (E.g., is the support of top management critical or just desirable? Can this approach be forced from the bottom up? If not: How necessary is the support?

Is the level of top-management commitment sufficient to ensure the success of the approach?

Would communication with top management increase the level of support or would it be better to proceed and then demonstrate positive results to top management? Should time and effort be spent in trying to convince top management of the value of the strategy or would this effort be in vain?

7. What level of resource commitment does the strategy assume? (E.g., time demands for both managers and employees, financial and staff resources for training, etc.)

Does the organization have sufficient resources to allocate what is needed to the change effort?

If not: Are there less costly ways in which to implement the change? Are various levels of implementation feasible, given the present allocation of resources? Can the theory be implemented (i.e., can management practices be changed as desired) with less commitment of resources?

Argyris, C. (1971). Management and organizational development. New York: McGraw-Hill. Argyris, C. (1982). Reasoning, learning and action. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Carey, A. (1967). The Hawthorne studies: A radical criticism. American Sociological Review, 32, 403-416.

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Dickson, W.J., & Roethlisberger, F.J. (1966). Counseling in an organization: A sequel to the Hawthorne researches. Boston, MA: Harvard University, Division of Research, Graduate School of Business Administration. Doyle, P. (1985). Considerations for managers in implementing change. In L.D. Goodstein & J.W. Pfeiffer (Eds.), The 1985 annual: Developing human resources. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Granger, C.M. (1964, May-June). The hierarchy of objectives. Harvard Business Review, pp. 63-74. Hayes, R.H. (1981, July-August). Why Japanese factories work. Harvard Business Review, pp. 57-66. Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K.H. (1982). Management of organizational behavior: Utilizing human resources (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Humble, J.W. (1973). How to manage by objectives. New York: AMACOM. Kerr, S. (1975). On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B. Academy of Management Journal, 18, 769-783. Kobayashi, M.K. (1986). Japanese management: Myth and reality (video package and booklet). San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Landesberger, H.J. (1958). Hawthorne revisited. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. McClelland, D.C. (1976). The achieving society. New York: Irvington. McConkey, D.D. (1967). How to manage by results. New York: American Management Association. McConkey, D.D. (1972, Winter). How to succeed and fail with MBO. Business Quarterly, pp. 58-62. McGregor, D. (1957, May-June). An uneasy look at performance appraisal. Harvard Business Review. Reprinted in The performance appraisal series, No. 21143, (1972), pp. 5-10. Odiorne, G.S. (1972). Management by objectives: A system of managerial leadership. New York: Pitman. Ouchi, W. (1981). Theory Z: How American business can meet the Japanese challenge. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley. Pascale, R.T., & Athos, A.G. (1982). The art of Japanese management: Applications for American executives. New York: Warner Books. Peters, T., & Austin, A. (1985). A passion for excellence: The leadership difference. New York: Random House. Peters, T.J., & Waterman, R.H., Jr. (1982). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Warner Books. Rice, B. (1982, February). The Hawthorne defect: Persistence of a flawed theory. Psychology Today, pp. 70-74. Schein, E. (1969). The mechanisms of change. In W. Bennis, K. Benne, & R. Chin (Eds.), The planning of change (2nd ed.), (pp. 98-107). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Shepard, J.M. (1971). On Alex Carey’s radical criticism of the Hawthorne studies. Academy of Management Journal, 14, 23-31. Tarrant, J.J. (1976). Drucker: The man who invented the corporate society. London, England: Barrie & Jenkins. Urwick, L.F. (1952). Notes on the theory of organization. New York: American Management Association. Watson, G., & Glaser, E.M. (1965, November). What have we learned about planning for change. Management Review, 54(11), 34-46. Wheelwright, S.C. (1981, July-August). Japan: Where operations really are strategic. Harvard Business Review, pp. 67-74.

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James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner What you have heard about leadership is only half the story. Leadership is not just about leaders; it is also about followers. Leadership is a reciprocal process. It occurs between people. It is not done by one person to another. Successful leadership depends far more on the follower’s perception of the leader than on the leader’s abilities. Followers, not the leader, determine when someone possesses the qualities of leadership. In other words, leadership is in the eye of the follower.

During a five-year period we investigated the perceptions that followers have of leaders. We asked more than 10,000 managers nationwide from a wide range of private and public organizations to tell us what they look for or admire in their leaders. The results from these surveys have been striking in their regularity. It seems there are several essential tests a leader must pass before we are willing to grant him or her the title of “leader.” According to our research, the majority of us admire leaders who are honest, competent, forward-looking, inspiring, and, ultimately, credible.

In every survey we conducted, honesty was selected more often than any other leadership characteristic. After all, if we are to willingly follow someone, whether into battle or into the boardroom, we first want to assure ourselves that the person is worthy of our trust. We will ask, “Is that person truthful? Ethical? Principled? Of high integrity? Does he or she have character?” These are not simple questions to answer. It is not easy to measure such subjective characteristics. In our discussions with respondents we found that it was the leader’s behavior that provided the evidence. In other words, regardless of what leaders say about their integrity, followers wait to be shown.

Originally published in The 1989 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. William Pfeiffer (Ed.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Adapted from James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, “Eye of the Follower” (Administrative Radiology, April 1986, pp. 55-56, 58, 6364); The Leadership Challenge: How To Get Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1987); and the Leadership Practices Inventory (San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company, 1988). Used with permission. The Leadership Challenge and the Leadership Practices Inventory are available from Pfeiffer & Company.

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Leaders are considered honest by followers if they do what they say they are going to do. Agreements not followed through, false promises, cover-ups, and inconsistencies between word and deed are all indicators that an ostensible leader is not honest. On the other hand, if a leader behaves in ways consistent with his or her stated values and beliefs, then we can entrust to that person our careers, our security, and ultimately even our lives. This element of trustworthiness is supported in another study we conducted of leadership practices. In that study we found that of all behaviors describing leadership, the most important single item was the leader’s display of trust in others. Irwin Federman, venture capitalist and former president and CEO (chief executive officer) of chip-maker Monolithic Memories, says it best: “Trust is a risk game. The leader must ante up first.” If leaders want to be seen as trustworthy, they must first give evidence of their own trust in others. Sam Walton, founder and chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., provides an excellent example of trustworthiness and “anteing up first” in leadership: In 1983 Walton—rated by Forbes to be the richest man in the United States—made a wager. Concerned that the company might have a disappointing year, he bet Wal-Mart employees that if they achieved a greater profit than in previous years he would don a hula skirt and hula down Wall Street. They did. And he did. He kept his word and did what he said he would do. He showed he had integrity, even if it meant public embarrassment. But imagine what would have happened had Sam not kept his word. You can believe that his employees would not have anted up for the next bet!

The leadership attribute chosen next most frequently is competence. To enlist in another’s cause, we must believe that person knows what he or she is doing. We must see the person as capable and effective. If we doubt the leader’s abilities, we are unlikely to enlist in the crusade. Leadership competence does not necessarily refer to the leader’s technical abilities. Rather the competence followers look for varies with the leader’s position and the condition of the company. For example, the higher the rank of the leader, the more people demand to see demonstrations of abilities in strategic planning and policy making. If a company desperately needs to clarify its corporate strategy, a CEO with savvy in competitive marketing may be seen as a fine leader. But at the line functional level, where subordinates expect guidance in technical areas, these same managerial abilities will not be enough. We have come to refer to the kind of competence needed by leaders as value-added competence. Functional competence may be necessary, but it is insufficient. The leader must bring some added value to the position. Tom Melohn, president of North American Tool and Die (NATD) in San Leandro, California, is a good case in point. Tom, along with a partner, bought NATD several years ago. A former consumer-products executive, Tom knows nothing about how to run a drill press or a stamping machine. He claims he cannot even screw the license plates on his car. Yet, in the nine years since he bought „‚ 95

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the company, NATD has excelled in every possible measure in its industry, whereas under the original founder—an experienced toolmaker—NATD achieved only average or below-average results. If Tom brings no industry, company, or technical expertise to NATD, what has enabled him to lead the firm to its astounding results? Our answer: Tom added to the firm what it most needed at the time—the abilities to motivate and sell. Tom entrusted the skilled employees with the work they knew well; and for his part, he applied the selling skills he had learned from a quarter-century in marketing consumer products. He also rewarded and recognized the NATD “gang” for their accomplishments, increasing their financial and emotional sense of ownership in the firm.

Being Forward-Looking
Over half of our respondents selected “forward-looking” as their third most sought after leadership trait. We expect our leaders to have a sense of direction and a concern for the future of the company. Some use the word “vision”; others, the word “dream.” Still others refer to this sense of direction as a “calling” or “personal agenda.” Whatever the word, the message is clear: True leaders must know where they are going. Two other surveys that we conducted with top executives reinforced the importance of clarity of purpose and direction. In one study, 284 senior executives rated “developing a strategic planning and forecasting capability” as the most critical concern. These same senior managers, when asked to select the most important characteristics in a CEO, cited “a leadership style of honesty and integrity” first, followed by “a long-term vision and direction for the company.” By “forward-looking” we do not mean the magical power of a prescient visionary. The reality is far more down to earth: It is the ability to set or select a desirable destination toward which the organization should head. The vision of a leader is the compass that sets the course of the company. Followers ask that a leader have a welldefined orientation to the future. A leader’s “vision” is, in this way, similar to an architect’s model of a new building or an engineer’s prototype of a new product. Think of it another way. Suppose you wanted to take a trip to a place where you had never been before—say Nairobi, Kenya. What would you do over the next few days if you knew you were going there in six months? Probably get a map, read a book about the city, look at pictures, talk to someone who had been there. You would find out what sights to see, what the weather is like, what to wear, and where to eat, shop, and stay. Followers ask nothing more from a leader than a similar kind of orientation: “What will the company look like, feel like, be like when it arrives at its goal in six months or six years? Describe it to us. Tell us in rich detail so we can select the proper route and know when we have arrived.”

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she must be able to communicate the vision in ways that encourage us to sign on for the duration. As Apple Computer manager Dave Paterson puts it, “The leader is the evangelist for the dream.” Some people react with discomfort to the idea that being inspiring is an essential leadership quality. One chief executive officer of a large corporation even told us, “I don’t trust people who are inspiring”—no doubt in response to past crusaders who led their followers to death or destruction. Other executives are skeptical of their ability to inspire others. Both are making a mistake. It is absolutely essential that leaders inspire our confidence in the validity of the goal. Enthusiasm and excitement signal the leader’s personal conviction to pursuing that dream. If a leader displays no passion for a cause, why should others?

Three of these four attributes—honesty, competence, and being inspiring—comprise what communications experts refer to as “credibility.” We found, quite unexpectedly, in our investigation of admired leadership qualities that more than anything else people want leaders who are credible. Credibility is the foundation on which inspiring leadership visions are built. When we believe a leader is credible, then we somehow feel more secure around him or her. This sense of security enables us to let go of our reservations and release enormous personal energy on behalf of the common vision. Credibility and an attractive image of the future are the very essence of leadership. However, credibility is extremely fragile. It takes years to earn it, an instant to lose it. Credibility grows minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, through persistent, consistent, and patient demonstration that one is worthy of followers’ trust and respect. It is lost with one false step, one thoughtless remark, one inconsistent act, one broken agreement, one lie, one cover-up.

Leaders establish and maintain their credibility by their actions, and in our research we uncovered five fundamental practices that enabled leaders to earn followers’ confidence and to get extraordinary things done. When at their best, leaders (1) challenge the process, (2) inspire a shared vision, (3) enable others to act, (4) model the way, and (5) encourage the heart.1

Challenging the Process
Leaders are pioneers—people who seek out new opportunities and are willing to change the status quo. They innovate, experiment, and explore ways to improve the organization. They treat mistakes as learning experiences. Leaders also stay prepared to meet whatever challenges may confront them.

The Leadership Practices Inventory measures these five practices.

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They make it easier for others to achieve goals by focusing on key priorities. Modeling the Way Leaders are clear about their business values and beliefs. They stress collaborative goals. Enabling Others to Act Leaders infuse people with spirit-developing relationships based on mutual trust. Only in this way can you show them how their interests can be served by aligning with yours. Below are five prerequisites to building and maintaining this bond of trust. 2nd Edition. Building any relationship begins with getting to know those we desire to lead. Leaders are expressive and attract followers through their genuineness and skillful communications. their biases. Confusion among your followers over your stand creates stress. indecision. Get to know their hopes.Inspiring a Shared Vision Leaders look toward and beyond the horizon. 2. They let others know that their efforts are appreciated and express pride in the team’s accomplishments. and their disappointments. and political rivalry. 1. creating opportunities for small wins. a unique and special trust between the leader and followers. They nurture a team spirit that enables people to sustain continued efforts. Find out what is important to your followers. UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP Leadership is a relationship. culture. their aspirations. however. They envision the future with a positive and hopeful outlook. There is. Come to know what they seek. The development of this trusting relationship requires our full and caring attention as leaders. Know your followers. Leaders also plan and break projects down into achievable steps. Leaders also find ways to celebrate achievements. They show others how mutual interests can be met through commitment to a common purpose. their nightmares.S. their values. They actively involve others in planning. visibly recognizing contributions to the common vision. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Encouraging the Heart Leaders encourage people to persist in their efforts by linking recognition with accomplishments. Leaders ensure that people feel strong and capable. a 98 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. their dreams. They keep people and projects on course by behaving consistently with these values and modeling how they expect others to act. Stand up for your beliefs. their fears. giving them discretion to make their own decisions. People who take a stand are appreciated in U. not knowing what you believe leads to conflict. We resolutely refuse to follow people who lack confidence in their own values and decisions.

Jim Whittaker. of lighting a fire under them. We respect leaders who can listen to and understand our points of view. Lead by example. states. or fool around with girls. hear. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 99 . you’d better not!” If leaders ask followers to observe certain standards. You can do anything I do. and commitment begin with the leader. 4. We look to them for clues on how we should behave. followers will find ways to align themselves with you. Leaders coach. it lives forever. communities. So what do you suppose we did? Boys will be boys. neither are leaders in the game substituting for the players. If I smoke. then I would expect you to do the same. Leadership is not a spectator sport. Paint word pictures. Each said. then the leaders need to live by the same rules. stay up late. his fears. At the beginning of the season we had the same lockerroom sermon as with the other coaches. If your beliefs are strongly held. or fool around with women. The first two were exactly alike. it can make one rigid and insensitive. They would smoke. the first American to reach the summit of Mt. If the leader is a wet match. “I have only one rule. and fool around with women.danger in always standing on principle. Enable others to see. Enthusiasm. learned that he could not conquer a mountain. Leaders are role models. empathize. about his days as a high-school football player: When I played high-school football. We will never forget the story told to us by a young manager. stay up late. and feel what you experience. Leaders do not sit in the stands and watch. But this superhero portrait of great leaders only perpetuates a falsehood. nations. It might make good cinema to picture the leader riding into town on a white horse and single-handedly destroying the villains. 2nd Edition. Weave metaphors. Hero myths aside. To gain the commitment of others you must communicate your excitement about the dream. The everyday struggles of leaders include internal questions such as: Do you understand what is going on in the company and the world in which it operates? Are you prepared to handle the problems the company is facing? Did you make the right decision? Did The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. drink. because mountains cannot be conquered. while you are in training I don’t want you to smoke. yet believe in their own hearts that other viewpoints are superior. When the dream lives inside others. My third coach was the best I ever had. drink. energy. and based on sound thinking. Conquer yourself. 5. John Schultz. We always believe their actions over their words. It might brighten our heroic image of leaders to believe that they conquer organizations. ethical. drink. I had three coaches. Everest. stay up late. Managers constantly talk about motivating their people. there will be no spark to ignite passion in others. smell. You can only lead by example. understand. Tell stories. “Men. 3. He had to conquer himself—his hopes. Speak with passion. after all. the world. Got that?” Then we would watch our coaches during the season. But if I don’t. Relate anecdotes. The key to escaping rigidity is to remain open to others. Except this coach just said. The real struggle of leadership is internal. taste. They show others how to behave. Listen. That is exactly what we were told many times by exemplary leaders.

Conquering yourself begins with determining your value system. Followers need to sense that the leader’s internal struggle has been fought and won. and those terms are not always fair. and there are no true followers unless the leader is a leader in the eye of the follower. but followers will not place their confidence in someone who appears weak. these practices. Strongly held beliefs compel you to take a stand. THE EYE OF THE FOLLOWER These characteristics.you do the right thing? Where do you think the company should be headed? Are you the right one to lead others there? This inner struggle places enormous stress on the leader. the leader is not a leader unless there are followers. It may not seem right to be judged so harshly. uncertain. Followers do not want to see that their leaders lack self-confidence. or lacking in resolve. 100 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. these relationships are tough measures for the leader. After all. that they can laugh and cry and have a good time. but followers perceive leadership in their own terms. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Certainly they like to know their leaders are human.

but rarely does one individual embody such a thrust or exemplify a whole system. one in which the differentiation of members’ talents and skills provides the most capable and appropriate leadership for each part of the task at hand. and leadership becomes an essential ingredient for effective empowerment. 1984). In an empowering organization. The system’s daily leadership usually comes—and should come—from throughout the organization. This new role. 2nd Edition. published by Pfeiffer & Company in 1990. by Judith F. An organization whose leaders exercise empowerment to deal with new situations builds a stronger leadership infrastructure than does a system that relies on traditional hierarchical structures or bureaucracies. motivates. Murrell and Judith F. the person who fosters the organization’s development by participating. Murrell. Empowering organizations move in the same fashion when systems allow quick action (not just reaction) in response to circumstances. p. no such development can occur if control is the central managerial concern. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 101 . integration. An effective work team is. coordinating. for which few traditional systems of reward or Originally published in The 1991 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. When managers shift their emphasis from control to empowerment. by definition. San Diego. On occasion.„‚ THE MANAGER AS LEADER IN AN EMPOWERING ORGANIZATION: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Kenneth L. William Pfeiffer (Ed. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. effectively developing that power is empowerment. energizes. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.). Leadership thus moves from person to person as people’s talents and the demands of the situation dictate. Vogt and Kenneth L. Herein lies a basic dilemma. and liberates others is the essence of empowerment” (Vogt & Murrell. Power becomes something that is within a person and that can be created as well as distributed. For a more thorough discussion of the major processes of empowerment. Vogt “Leadership that excites. the paramount issues are coordination. 1990. However. As facilitator. an individual manager suggests a new direction and takes the lead in moving a system toward it. technical expert. see Empowerment in Organizations: How to Spark Exceptional Performance. Empowering leadership does not focus exclusively on the “individual manager as hero” but looks at the group or organization-development process as a whole (Bradford & Cohen. and facilitation—not control. their images of power and leadership also shift. 73). The primary function of the manager is not to be the problem solver. the manager understands clearly that his or her primary function is to get the right leadership talents to the right place. and permitting others to provide the specific leadership skill(s) needed. or conductor but the facilitator.

It also demands that stress. To do so. Managerial Roles in an Empowering Organization In an empowering organization. rather it produces feelings of self-worth by allowing. 1977). from the perspectives of opportunities and challenges. 2nd Edition. and alienation crises be used effectively as opportunities to develop the skills of everyone in the organization. Organizations that endeavor to develop the capacity to use their valuable human resources fully and to gain a competitive edge require managers who can facilitate that development. This role calls for a psychologically healthy manager. Figure 1. and assisting others to get the job done. does not validate the manager’s ego through control of others. encouraging. the role of the manager is to develop the organization’s overall skills in each of six management functions. 1984. The manager’s new role is to establish a new ethic of shared responsibility and to build an infrastructure that facilitates each employee’s ability to handle expanded responsibilities. Kieffer. planning. Murrell. and developing—that make up this infrastructure. Figure 1 (Murrell. decision making. managers and other organizational leaders need to be fully aware of how organizations function and what can be done to help them reach their empowered performance potentials. 102 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Because the demands made on employees in empowering organizations are broader than those in more traditional systems. evaluating. managers are challenged to take on new roles in these six key areas. confusion. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .recognition are in place. In essence. motivating. considerable time and attention are necessary to prepare employees for their responsibilities (Kanter. 1983. These crises help to forge the strengths needed for an empowering organization. Each of these will be examined in turn. conflict. 1986) illustrates the six roles—informing.

This is not always the best approach. when it is shared. and need. the more that can be generated. An empowering manager functions in a similar way. where possible. Information is power. the final decision is moved to the point that is most appropriate in terms of information. 2nd Edition. he or she must also establish and maintain a climate of trust. such decision making must be carefully designed in advance. all members invest time and energy in developing and clarifying information-sharing guidelines and procedures. An added benefit is that people who actively participate in making a decision feel a heightened responsibility for ensuring a successful outcome. A high level of personal trust is essential to the flow of valid information (Gibb. and to distribute information is vital to its success. operational information. 1978). what information exchange exists is guarded and distorted. In an empowering organization. A manager in an empowering organization must establish and maintain the technical aspects of information exchange. Although this method is slow in its formulation. expertise. In an empowering organization. the majority of decisions are made by a few people at or near the top of the organization. the power and responsibility for decisions are shared openly by all those affected. In an empowering organization. to analyze. This enhances an „‚ 103 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. However. The manager is also responsible for creating feedback mechanisms and interactive systems of communication. the manager assumes responsibility for sharing data relevant to team members’ jobs as well as information about the strategic and spiritual essence of the organization. A climate that values individual input. proposed decisions are reviewed at all levels of the organization. and personal/group assessment and perspective dramatically enhances an organization’s empowering ability. Although it need not be cumbersome or excessively time consuming.OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF INFORMING An organization’s ability to gather. In an empowering organization. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . it creates more power in a system that encourages and rewards collaboration. Because speed is often a critical factor in decision making. threatening an organization’s very existence. block the flow of information. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF DECISION MAKING In traditional hierarchical organizations. with effective guidelines that delineate not only the decision-making participants but also the method of decision making under a number of different—and perhaps unexpected—circumstances. Workers suggest changes in the proposal based on their particular areas of expertise and experience. it usually gains a time advantage in its implementation. the manager lays the groundwork in advance. incorporating both a review process and a decision-making method that reach downward in the organization. more importantly. in the Japanese ringshi method. Low-trust organizations. Good information is an excellent example of a renewable resource: The more there is. responsibility for improving the information flow belongs not just to the manager but to every person in the organization. more input is sought. For example. on the other hand.

asking people to make decisions without the relevant understanding and experience is counterproductive. 104 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. An empowering planning process depends on involving people in conceiving and achieving the vision. Particularly in the early stages of empowerment. and commitment of the implementation phase often compensates. The same strategy applied to people focuses on their particular talents to help identify opportunities for using them more effectively. if dedication and commitment to the plans are expected. however. Moreover. A transition plan that includes training for increased responsibilities is necessary. 2nd Edition. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR EVALUATING An empowering evaluative system builds on the process of valuing and takes advantage of what is learned in that process to improve performance. a final decision may evolve more slowly. therefore. people need opportunities to influence the system—so that they realize they can actually do so. the empowering manager needs to make the closest match between task and skills while ensuring that each person is aware of his or her contribution to the plan. A developmental perspective is helpful in instituting a more open decisionmaking process. that members have an opportunity to refine. a decision is viewed as one entity. All members need to know that they are part of an overall plan and need to be able to identify their own unique contributions to its accomplishment. development. which is its design for the future. the planning process can be more than a once-a-year event carried out at a distance. creating a shared commitment to accomplish the planning goals. and planning. As different steps of the process require different knowledge and interests. from recognition to planning to implementing to evaluating to generalizing. comment on. or even alter the mission statement. One approach is to emphasize the system’s strengths. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR PLANNING In an empowering organization. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . such participation is usually necessary. planning involves as many as possible of the people impacted by the planning process. Participative planning is neither the easiest nor the fastest way for an organization to sort out its plans. empowerment uses positive and healthy energies as the primary guides for an organization’s growth. Avoiding a problem-centered focus. but the speed. It is equally important that the empowering manager capture the spirit of the members and help create a shared image of what the organization can become. As in the Japanese ringshi method. coordination. The planning process is almost always discussed in the context of the organization’s mission statement.organization’s ability to achieve its goals by reducing the we-they distinction so often projected between those who make decisions and those who implement them. As such. The vision created by planning can inspire and empower members. It is imperative.

therefore. such as pride. in a work environment. The test of an empowering manager is not his or her own functioning but the capacity of the system and the organization to respond and to grow in an increasingly challenging world. and to direct. management’s main contribution will The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. to counsel. The sense of shared responsibility creates more power and more leadership potential in a larger number of people. in which a manager gives support and encouragement in response to an employee’s request. is at the core of the empowerment process. The control process then becomes internal to the system and to the individual person. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING A fully empowering organization uses all of the skills and ideas available to it. The strongest motivation factors. In the future. the employee is the one who decides what to do with the information. managers help people to become more aware of their own goals so that they can actively participate in and structure their own motivators. A developmental perspective requires an ongoing search for improvement and constant attention to developing higher levels of performance. In an organization that recognizes and appreciates individuality and special talents. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR MOTIVATING Pride in accomplishment is a powerful motivator. are intrinsic. Rather. Empowering managers help people to recognize the value of selfassessment as they model the technique. In an empowering system. they empower by example. people perform their assignments with confidence. motivation is the essence of empowerment. people become free to request help when a goal is not being achieved rather than attempting to hide their limitations. Although an empowering manager does not withhold his or her viewpoints from the employee. which sets the stage for organizational maturity and the achievement of full potential for the organization and its members alike. Motivation. This process redefines leadership as everyone’s responsibility. the empowering manager’s daily tasks must be developmental in perspective. self-insight often is buried under layers of external influences and experiences. This progressive perspective goes beyond quantity or quality. it also ensures its continual growth and survival by responding to a changing external environment. Although people are intrinsically motivated. developmental improvements emerge out of the higher level of organizational functioning that results from better coordination and integration. Empowering managers help to structure the organization so that its reward systems are consistent with its goal of developing self-motivated individuals. it requires being available to coach.A second empowering evaluation strategy is self-diagnosis. Therefore. This requires more than being a role model. like evaluation. empowering managers do not rely on extrinsic incentives like pay or punishment. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 105 .

and cynicism. disbelief. Such organizations hire the best and brightest young professionals. Such organizations often pay high salaries but do not reap a commensurate return. who block others’ contributions and thus block the system’s growth. This is the essence of the empowerment paradox: By giving the most effective people freedom to develop. Empowering managers facilitate organizational learning. Organizations can learn. Global economic challenges clearly require organizations that are more effective and more powerful. They glean a sense of well-being from helping themselves. Innovative and creative start-up firms and other organizations willing to risk empowering their people point the way to success. creating such organizations requires giving up control. colleagues and employees would probably view a rapid change in management style with distrust. however. It is unlikely that a traditional manager could spontaneously become an empowering manager. 2nd Edition. To gain more power for the organization. one that is developmental and inclusive. and the organization to attain present and future effectiveness. Self-serving managers.be to create systems that are participatory and self-managing. cannot accomplish these broader goals. This developmental perspective is key to long-range strategies to increase an organization’s growth and capacity to survive. trust and faith must be extended to all employees. at the very least. and their own employees who break away and establish competing firms. Such control-oriented and bureaucratic organizations (“corpocracies” as they have been termed) are not developing either internally or in terms of new markets. those who are not trusted consume inordinate amounts of time and energy in terms of managerial 106 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. trust. more effectively developing organization. Empowering managers also think in terms of creating a better. but one necessary component is a planned methodology for the learning process (Sims & Gioia. They are being outmaneuvered by young mavericks. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Paradoxically. they try to compete with organizations with half as many levels of management. That initial step includes a careful look at how far along the empowerment path the organization has already traveled and at how much freedom and responsibility the best people exercise. the organization gains. as well as to create systems based on active learning. only to see them leave in short order because of stifling rules and a control orientation. 1986). and willingness to risk. others. Bloated with layers of redundance. To give up a belief as strongly entrenched as control requires tremendous faith. THE EMPOWERMENT PARADOX AND PATH Organizations built on control rather than on empowerment find it difficult to respond to new challenges of global competition. their days are numbered. savvy foreign competitors with lower labor costs. Traditional managers move from mere profit maximization to producing needed products at ever-higher levels of quality. The empowering path is a long one whose first step must be a mental one.

efforts to control them. how it prefers to operate within each area. a manager moving toward an empowering style can consider how to change his or her approach to employees whose performance is less than superior. If power is not a finite resource but one that can be created. the more resistant to giving power to its people the organization has been in the past. are not small. 2nd Edition. it will be the manager’s role to facilitate the making of new contracts about the nature of this relationship. They are also risk takers who are smart enough to know when the organization will not support their efforts and. After surveying the degree of empowerment already in place. Truly empowering managers are not naive. A review of the six managerial roles can provide a good starting point for this examination. a radical shift in the power paradigm will bring once-hidden conflicts to the surface and force tough decisions about sharing responsibility. consciously and explicitly. If empowerment succeeds within one group. Growth will not be easy. How does the manager’s way of structuring his or her roles affect relationships with these employees? What changes can each side reasonably expect the other to make? These are the sorts of questions to ask and to answer when starting down the empowerment path. Power and responsibility are by necessity tied together. in a zero-sum exchange: their contribution minus the manager’s efforts. it must be carefully considered in terms of their own needs. ethical framework that makes all of his or her interactions important. The organization must first look seriously at how it functions in the six areas described and then choose. it follows that for an organization to gain in power. a manager can use the approach to understand the rest of the organization. every member must become more powerful. Whatever they produce has been cajoled from them. the needs of coworkers. when they must make the choice to stay or to leave. In many organizations there has been no internal The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The requirements for an organization about to take the empowerment path are more involved than the decisions a single manager might make. Even this choice is not simple to empowering managers. Organizational culture changes slowly. at great cost. and those of the organization to which they have committed themselves. of really looking at oneself and the organization. therefore. the more difficult the transition will be. Managers can assist this selfexamination if they and the organization are willing to look openly at themselves. An empowering manager is an empowering person with a whole-self. The risks of requesting feedback. interactions with coworkers in other areas benefit from clear explanations of the empowerment strategy being implemented and from specific examples of how empowering actions can improve the organization’s overall effectiveness. they are politically astute. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 107 . To share power in exchange for a total increase in the effectiveness of the organization is to move to a higher level of understanding about power. The manager’s job in helping to achieve a successful transition from control to empowerment will take not only considerable courage but also knowledge that the organization’s long-term survival depends on building awareness of its own developmental processes and ability to create power.

CA: Pfeiffer & Company.R. CA: Omicron Press. 2. Incorporate empowerment in managerial training. (1987). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Books supporting empowerment. 4. K. 1987). 1988). beginning with making managers aware of alternative behaviors and the potential for these alternative behaviors to improve the performances of managers. and The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power (Jamison. Byham. HRD professionals can serve as role models of empowering behavior. Jamison. and developing). Bradford. As people constantly involved with change. Share resources. Cardiff. REFERENCES Block. SUGGESTED ACTIONS FOR HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS The transition from traditional organizations to empowering organizations is not simple.ideal to inspire and motivate employees and to lend a direction for development. D. New York: John Wiley. (1984). Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment (Byham. Human resource development (HRD) professionals can help with the transition in a variety of ways. motivating. 108 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The nibble theory and the kernel of power. Pittsburgh. CA: Jossey-Bass. Human resource development professionals can recommend instruments and procedures to help managers to diagnose the cultures of their organizations and their work teams. Managing for excellence: The guide to developing high performance in contemporary organizations. During appraisal interviews managers can invite subordinates to voice their opinions about organizational-climate conditions that are or are not conducive to empowerment and to suggest improvements. W. 2nd Edition. evaluating. planning. Gibb. San Francisco. Professionals in HRD can encourage managers to incorporate the issue of empowerment in performance appraisals. such as The Empowered Manager (Block. J. and the organization as a whole.. Zapp! The lightning of empowerment. & Cohen. 1984). employees. Managerial-training sessions can be structured around the six managerial roles in an empowering organization (informing. 5.C. 3. Include empowerment in performance appraisals. Diagnose the culture. P. (1978). A. San Diego. Model the desired behavior. PA: Development Dimensions International. (1988). The HRD professional might also choose one or more of the following actions: 1. decision making. The empowerment goal is meant to provide such an ideal.R. The empowered manager. (1984). Trust: A new view of personal & organizational development. can be shared with managers to help them to be more receptive to the concepts of empowerment.

L. San Francisco. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.. Prevention in Human Services. The thinking organization. No.A. (1986). Washington. (1983). Second Series. H.. & Murrell. Sims. San Diego. TX: Section on International and comparative Administration.M. R. (1986). American Society for Public Administration. 2nd Edition. & Gioia.L. 12).L. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Citizen empowerment: A developmental perspective. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. 9-36. J. Vogt. Jr. Kieffer. 213(3). (1984). (1990). CA: Jossey-Bass. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 109 . New York: Simon & Schuster.Kanter. K. (1977). The managerial infrastructure in economic development: Its importance and how to nalyze it (SICA Occasional Papers Series.H. The change masters: Innovation for productivity in American culture. An exploratory descriptive study of the relationship of alternative work organizations and quality of life: More modern times. K. Austin. K. DC.. C. D. Murrell. Empowerment in organizations: How to spark exceptional performance. The George Washington University.P.F. Murrell.

All successful leadership situations share certain elements. and the characters involved.„‚ VALUES-BASED LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Robert C. and emotional—until closure is achieved. in turn motivates and inspires follower behavior. The author describes twenty attitudes and associated behaviors that the effective leader needs to exhibit. Regardless of the setting. Preziosi Abstract: In this article the author concentrates on what a leader need to believe and do in order to promote the high performance that will be required for organizational success in the 21st Century. Originally published in The 1996 Annual: Volume 1. Build on success. The leader needs to identify those elements and consciously repeat them as a foundation for building increasingly better leadership performance. The end result is the high performance required for an organization to achieve competitive advantage and future success. Garfield. 2. which. which. in turn. 1986. he presents an example of how a leader might generate behavioral options stemming from one of the essential values. William Pfeiffer (Ed. the same kind of performance is within the reach of virtually any organization. the situation. Management in the 21st Century will focus on the well-documented values-based theory of leadership (DePree. although the phenomenal success of some organizations might lead others to wonder if there is. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LEADER VALUES AND HIGH PERFORMANCE Several authors have helped to identify the specific leader values and associated behaviors that foster high follower performance: Covey. Instead. 1991. 1991. What exactly does a leader need to believe and do in order to promote high performance? 1. motivates and inspires follower behavior. 110 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. San Diego. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Attend intently. Tichy & Sherman. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . In addition. mental. 1993). and Leonard. 1991. The companies that DePree and Tichy and Sherman have written about offer powerful examples of the practical impact of this new theory: Leader values are the guiding principles that determine leader behavior. There is no magic involved in promoting high performance. the leader needs to demonstrate the same totality of focus—physical. 1992. Training by J. What I have learned from these authors is consistent with my own experience with high-performance organizations. His premise is that leader values are the guiding principles that determine leader behavior. 2nd Edition.).

San Diego. Then the leader’s responsibility is to serve as the energizing force behind that vision—so much so that every follower acts in support of the vision. 7. Measure all activities. Embrace diversity. a leader may forgo tasks that he or she feels passionately about in order to take care of more pressing matters. The organizational world of the 21st Century will be characterized by continual.1 12. but also encourage creativity on the part of followers. 11. Learn from others. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 111 . It is the leader’s example of creative behavior that allows the organization to renew itself continually and flourish. The successful leader will honor many different sets of values in order to take advantage of this opportunity. whenever it needs to be learned. each person can learn whatever needs to be learned. Listen to internal prompts. Honor the environment. Often a leader is placed in a situation involving conflicting information or conflicting interpretations of that information. that leaders maintain high levels of physical and emotional energy by including activities they love in their daily schedules. regardless of the stage of organizational development involved. The leader must first recognize people’s value. Heroes. Acknowledge everyone’s value. With such a system. quality. 5. Generate renewal. 6. 2nd Edition. and the only way to stay informed is to measure all human activity. Regardless of success in past performance. The leader must know the state of everything in the organization. Champion the shared vision. rapid change. 4. though. 10. he or she is most influenced by internal directives. and productivity are dependent on employees’ self-esteem. and instructors all provide opportunities for learning. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. For more information about organizational learning. see The Faster Learning Organization: Gain and Sustain the Competitive Edge by Bob Guns. The assumption underlying this point is that the leader has worked with followers to develop such a vision. It is important to note. As self-renewal is dependent on learning. 1996.3. Superior service. Constantly adapting to changing organizational circumstances requires that the leader not only be creative. the leader must develop and implement a total learning system consisting of accessible resources. Energize oneself. the effective leader is always ready. Increasing diversity within organizations will lead to an important opportunity for organizational redefinition. 9. willing. in the most effective way. With so many responsibilities. Offer learning resources. and able to learn and to apply that learning. 1 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Every person in an organization must be as selfrenewing as the organization itself. mentors. The old cliché about the environment is still true: “It’s the only one we have. 8.” The successful leader knows how important it is to replenish a resource before it is entirely depleted. Although the successful leader carefully considers and compares all positions.

Responding appropriately requires that the leader be able to switch gears. Exercise mental agility. Higher and higher levels of performance are the result. HOW TO USE VALUES The role of a value is to trigger behavioral options. In effect. Encourage team development. The leader’s responsibility in learning a new. and in choosing options the leader develops a personal behavior system. for instance—and lead them in a brainstorming session to increase the number of options. 17. effective leadership behavior is to practice that behavior until it becomes habit. This ability is dependent on mental agility and flexibility. Extend the boundaries. 19. the leader creates a mental video for replay in a real situation in the future. 2nd Edition. 112 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. present. Consequently. if necessary. Use mental rehearsal. Organizational functioning leads to a lot of surprises. This entity must be viewed in past. This is perhaps the most difficult of the leader values and behaviors. But the leader’s foremost responsibility is to provide followers with the resources they need—at his or her own expense. like other behavior. Put followers first. 16. 14. Provide opportunities for people to succeed. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . it asks that the leader subjugate personal objectives. and future terms. too.” The leader must be able to see how all organizational elements interconnect in a single entity. The leader’s task is to create opportunities so that each person will be limited only by his or her own behavior and not by the fact that opportunities do not exist. 13. is learned. Sports champions are not the only ones who mentally rehearse activities in order to enhance performance. 18. see a surprise as an opportunity. and act quickly on that opportunity. the greater the impact of the rehearsal. Practice effective leadership behavior. The leader may act alone in response to his or her own values or may consult others—followers. 15.Then he or she must exhibit and promote behaviors that build esteem and must work to rid the organization of behaviors that destroy esteem. Employees at all levels are finding that collaboration is preferable to conflict and frequently even to individual effort. Leadership. Teams are becoming a natural part of the organizational landscape. The effective leader encourages team development and uses it as a force for greater productivity and quality. many successful leaders do. 20. The leader is obligated to take the organization and its members beyond the current boundaries of performance. See the “big picture. The shorter the time between rehearsal and actual performance. the successful leader is always inspiring people by painting new pictures of the organization’s desired state.

and the specific group members involved. 3. Hold an annual creativity fair at which organizational members present the products of their creativity. and The organization’s capacity. 5. 12. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. “generate renewal. The leader’s ability. and 14. There may be other variables that come into play. the organization. 13. Train all employees in stress-management techniques so that they feel free to release their creativity. Attend a creativity conference for senior executives. depending on the leader. Purchase computer software that assists the creative process and have it installed in every PC. Stop all normal organizational activity for two hours once a week so that people can concentrate on unleashing their creativity. 8. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 113 . 2. Choosing from these options will depend on the following variables: s s s s s The requirements of the work unit. Place posters about creativity in every room in the building. 7. 6. might lead to a group-brainstormed list of options like the following: 1. 2nd Edition.” a value/behavior discussed in the previous section. 4. Require every member of senior management to develop an annual creativity plan for his or her part of the organization. Incorporate a requirement of one new product (or service) per quarter for each business unit. The important thing is to be aware of which variables to consider. Have each member of the organization develop a personal creativity plan with a checklist to measure conformance to the standards of the plan. Build a library of books and tapes for all employees to use. Start a creativity newsletter to provide organizational members with tools and techniques for enhancing creativity. 10. Hire a creativity consultant to identify which organizational activities suffer from a lack of creativity. Design a program for recognizing and rewarding individual and group creativity. 11. The results desired. The participative process that is used to determine choices.For example. 9. Develop and conduct a three-day training session on creativity for all employees.

(1992). (1986). N. New York: Doubleday. Second to none. Tichy. Control your destiny or someone else will. (1991). the results can be measured to determine whether the organization is headed in the direction it desires. New York: Dutton. Mastery. New York: Doubleday. Each organization needs to decide which leadership values will drive its functioning. The seven habits of highly effective leaders. IL: Irwin. (1991).R. Burr Ridge. C. Garfield. REFERENCES Covey. C. (1993). Leadership jazz. & Sherman. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . specific behavioral options present themselves.. New York: Simon & Schuster. 114 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Garfield. DePree. Leonard. 2nd Edition. New York: William Morrow. S.M. Peak performers. S. (1991). G. After options have been taken.CONCLUSION Values-based leadership has a significant impact on an organization. Once these values have been established. M.

In recent years.” the Gestalt theory base has more recently been used to define an effective and healthy organization. just as it has been used to describe a healthy and functioning individual. A leader can achieve maximum effectiveness first by being aware of what and how he or she thinks and second by considering options for any specific situation. This definition is clearly different from “management. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 115 . individual growth and effectiveness may be downplayed. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Although this direction is not wrong. Described as “therapy for normals. TERMINOLOGY Prior to presenting the Gestalt leadership model. San Diego.” which can be defined as “the science of the Originally published in The 1996 Annual: Volume 1. The one theory base that has consistently responded to this demand is Gestalt. In recent years.). However. in the attempt to evolve larger and more comprehensive interventions. it is important that individual growth and effectiveness not be ignored. Karp Abstract: The current trend in organization development is toward large-system interventions.„‚ LEADERSHIP FROM THE GESTALT PERSPECTIVE H. Whether within the context of a major system-wide change strategy or cast in an individual’s daily work routine. two key factors affect leader effectiveness: competence and comfort. a consistent and pragmatic means of developing leadership is needed—one that will respond to what is occurring right here. and organizational reengineering are just a few examples of this trend. willingly. Gestalt originated with Fritz Perls in the field of psychotherapy in the mid-1930s. in some cases. Leadership then becomes the ability to adapt one’s authentic style to the circumstances of a particular situation. Gestalt has provided a unique perspective to organizations while maintaining the prime OD objective of increasing individual and group effectiveness through intervention in group processes. if not completely lost. William Pfeiffer (Ed. the trend in organization development (OD) has been focused on largesystem interventions. Although nothing is wrong with this trend. right now. Training by J. Strategies such as self-directed work teams. This article explores the following definition of leadership: Leadership is the art of getting people to perform a task willingly. right-sizing. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. to each other. it will be helpful to clarify several terms and to show how they relate to leadership and.B. Leadership Leadership is the art of getting people to perform a task.

The use of threats. education. Just as no two singers sing alike. They can only be taught what leadership is about and then assisted in adapting that knowledge to their own individual styles. leadership is a process that affects how the task finally will be accomplished. which is the more observable and measurable of the two criteria. or designing a new widget. such as manufacturing a product. It is impossible to teach people to be good leaders. at least two individuals must be involved: a leader and at least one follower. through training.e. such as planning a party.” This definition of leadership has three operative terms: art. Art indicates that leadership is a combination of both talent and skills. The second term. task.allocation of resources. monetary rewards. task. or it may be socially oriented. 1 116 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. One way to actualize the talent that exists within an individual is by way of skill development. or painful situations. i. The opposite side of the coin also implies that very few people either have no talent or have all the talent. Art also implies that each leader performs individually. it can be measured Note that the term comfort refers to comfort with self and style and does not refer to what might be called situational discomfort. means that leadership precludes the use of threat or coercion as a means of getting the job done. no two authors write alike. Willingly. the definition for leadership can be converted into the following pragmatic statement: To whatever extent an individual can get others to perform a task willingly in a given situation. Leadership Effectiveness Leadership effectiveness depends on two basic and essential criteria: competence and comfort. leadership must have an objective. In the end. The task may be work oriented. 1 Competence. Two structural elements must exist before a leadership function can occur. to that extent the person can be judged an effective leader. Leadership talent is distributed normally throughout the population. people will be effective leaders only to the extent that their potential for individual creativity and uniqueness of expression will allow. Willingly implies that another person will perform the task without resenting having to do it or resenting you for having assigned it. First. means that leadership does not occur in a vacuum. the third element. and experience. It is safe to say that no one is capable of being a maximally effective leader 100 percent of the time and that sometimes it is a lot easier to be a good leader than it is at other times. solving a problem. In this light. and no two sculptors sculpt alike. refers to the leader’s ability to get the work done willingly by others. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . tough choices.. Not everyone has the talent to be an effective leader. Regardless. or promises of future promotion to control another’s performance requires neither skill nor talent and is not leadership. just as not everyone has the talent to be a concert pianist. the discomfort that arises from dealing with situational ambiguity. Second. no two leaders lead alike. and willingly.

such as good-bad. the quality of the work itself. Note that this makes no statement about how other people are. boundaries. critical incident analysis. Like artists. as the word implies. just as its geographic borders give a nation its identifiable configuration. assumptions. All of these combine to make each person absolutely unique. it may be wise to consider making a career change to something that will easily provide both comfort and competence. needs to be surfaced because it also has major impact on the leadership model. Comfort refers to a leader’s comfort with himself or herself and with his or her individual leadership style. any accomplished art student can copy a master effectively. in Figure 1. For example.through attitude surveys. The importance of this criterion is that it clearly implies that there is no one best way to lead. 2nd Edition. values. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 117 . The positions at each extreme represent the maximum potential for human experience The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” Thus. this far and no farther. A person’s individuality. introvert-extrovert. If. Figure 1. and. only they themselves know best how to uniquely express their art. It is not until the student takes that skill and creates something unique that he or she is considered to be an artist. For example. if a leader is judged to be competent by observable measures and is comfortable with his or her leadership style. “For me. define and give each individual his or her identifiable personality characteristics. In a practical sense. strong-weak. the person is comfortable but not terribly competent or competent but not very comfortable. each sub-boundary carries the explicit message. It is here that that person stands to make the greatest contribution and simultaneously gain the most satisfaction and growth from the work. and so forth. the polarity ranges from “Mistrust” to “Trust. Boundary One additional Gestalt term. Therefore. only my capacity on this dimension. or I-Boundary. The Mistrust-Trust Polarity Human characteristics can be seen as operating in polarities. or tough-tender. tastes. The essence of Gestalt theory holds that each human being is separate and distinct from all others. so it is with leaders or anyone else who practices an art for a living. abilities. is made of many sub-boundaries such as attitudes. boundary.” The range that is indicated between the points labeled “a” and “b” is my sub-boundary on this dimension and defines the extent to which I have the capacity to authentically mistrust and trust others. that person has every right to resist the demands of others to alter how he or she leads. of course. on the other hand. As it is with painters. Each sub-boundary then can be seen as an area that is defined by a range within that polarity.

It is essential that each individual recognize. 118 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. in terms of mistrusting and trusting others. and value his or her personal I-Boundary. in leadership or any other area. A person’s sub-boundary can also be thought of as one’s “Zone of Present Effectiveness” or “Zone of Comfort. pp. chances are that I will be tentative. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .” An individual’s I-Boundary can be represented by the pattern intersecting the various sub-boundaries. is to have your 2 For a more detailed discussion of boundaries and how they work see Polster and Polster (1973). lies between points a and b. no matter where I am parked. The configuration in Figure 1 shows that at point a. point b. 2nd Edition. i. If I try to operate outside these parameters. 2 Figure 2. I-Boundry Each person’s I-Boundary is intact. as shown in Figure 2. I am trustful enough to take most people at their word the first time I meet them. and marginally effective at best.for this characteristic.e. The simplest step toward increasing your effectiveness and comfort with self. lacking in confidence. All subboundaries operate in this way. 107 or Karp (1995). 9-23. accept. p. at the other extreme. being as mistrusting and trusting as it is humanly possible to be. I am mistrusting enough to always lock my car.. My range of effectiveness and self-confidence.

The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. It is only functional or nonfunctional in getting compliance from another person in a given situation. The Need for Congruence Congruence. THE GESTALT LEADERSHIP MODEL Leadership effectiveness is most influenced by two highly individualistic variables: the need for congruence and the need for integration. these actions and their results are the only things that can be observed and judged by anyone else. coaching. however. Directly below the “Actions” line. a leader will be judged by what he or she does. Figure 3. supporting. understanding these levels is clearly the best means by which leaders can increase their own effectiveness.perceived boundary. 2nd Edition. These levels are not observable or subject to the judgment of others. is either good or bad. the top broken line is designated as “Actions. or authenticity. training. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 119 . In Figure 3. Regardless of who the person is. encouraging. It is not so much a matter of what the leader elects to do as much as it is a matter of how the selection is made. Again. leadership effectiveness can only be determined by the appropriateness of the specific actions taken to get others willingly to comply to work. Four Levels of Leadership No specific action. and so on). As suggested earlier. Because it is highly unlikely that any leader will be able to get willing compliance in every situation. are three lower levels. in and of itself. all of which are internal to the individual. reprimanding.” It represents the nearly infinite range of specific behaviors available to every leader to attempt to get willing compliance to work (planning. increasing leadership effectiveness becomes a matter of increasing one’s “success rate” in choosing the effective and appropriate actions when responding to each new and different situation. (where you think it is or should be) correspond to your actual boundary (where it actually is). can be viewed as having one’s perceived boundary correspond to one’s actual boundary.

so there is an infinitive range of leadership theories. I can never really know how people are merely through observation. “What are people like?” In contrast. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .” is not only the most general of the three levels. “What is leadership about?” Just as there is an infinite range of assumptions about people. I would suggest that there are just about as many leadership theories as there are individual leaders and theorists. However. 2nd Edition. the more I know about me—who I am and how I see things—the more I am able accurately to check out my assumptions with and about others. The real question being asked is. It refers to how the individual leader experiences self as well as others. most notably Douglas McGregor (1960). Theory Once leaders are clear and comfortable with the assumptions they hold. it also is the most basic and important determinant of effective leadership behavior.” “Boundary” asks the single question. chooses to modify an established theory. are based only on my assumptions of how they are. make this point quite strongly. or devises an original theory. “What is leadership theory about for me?” Whether an individual ascribes to an established theory. the important points to remember are as follows: s s The theory must be clear and explicit. it is both essential and primary that leaders be clear about the assumptions they make about people. Therefore. the higher the probability that they will be effective leaders. the next level to be addressed is “Theory.Boundary The lowest level. The single most important question that a leader must answer is “What are people like?” I would like to point out that the only person I can ever know. to greater or lesser degree. Because I do not share a common nervous system with anyone else. To state the premise simply: The more clear and the more confident leaders are about their assumptions concerning people. “Theory” asks the single question. is myself. Many theorists. To be explicit. to any extent. as opposed to cabinet makers who work with wood or masons who work with stone. and The theory must be consonant with the leader’s own assumptions about people. suppose I were to ask a large random sample of people the following question: “Who was the more effective leader—General Douglas MacArthur or Martin Luther King?” My guess would be that most people would judge them as comparable 120 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Because a leader works exclusively with people. My interactions with everyone else. regardless of what those assumptions are. In this case “Boundary” is synonymous with one’s assumptions about people. the difference between the Gestalt view and other views is that the Gestalt view is much more concerned with how the assumptions are made and clarified than it is with what the assumptions actually are. “Boundary.

and different view of what people were like. pursuing either one will work toward getting the other. Whether these objectives are general and long range (“I want to be successful” or “I want to be highly regarded by my superiors”) or short range and specific (“I want a corner office” or “I want the promotion that’s coming up”). where one is. the more clear and the more concise the individual is about what is wanted. Actually. This level also addresses a single question: “What do I want?” Objectives can be viewed in two ways. this is not the case at all. of the internal levels deals with objectives. Paradoxically. the situation simply calls for increasing one’s awareness. i.e. Not only was each man clear about his assumptions. and The “Objectives” are consonant with the leader’s “Boundary.e. neither would have been effective. 2nd Edition.. It requires only a passing knowledge of the history of these two men to realize that probably the only thing they had in common was that each held a very clear. a leader is totally accountable for the choices made at the fourth level. Had MacArthur tried to lead like King or King like MacArthur. The most important aspects of “Objectives” are the following: s s The individual leader is clear about and “owns” each objective. but each operated out of a style of leadership that was highly consonant with how he saw things. themselves included. defined. Objectives The third. if I am clear about wanting the promotion and clear about what the organizational demand for productivity is. accurately reflect one’s actual position. It is here that a leader’s effectiveness ultimately is determined. The broader the range or the greater the number of authentic choices that fit for the leader at The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.. objectives must also be viewed from the organizational perspective. where one thinks one is or should be. i. Here the organization’s demands become a guideline for the individual’s objectives. The more people are clear and comfortable with wanting whatever they want. For example. Although no one ever is accountable to anyone else for what happens on any of the three lower levels. The assumption here is that at any given moment. the higher the probability that he or she will succeed.” On the surface it would seem that the leader must spend an appreciable amount of time and energy struggling with each of the three lower levels. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 121 . Clarity on any level is a matter of having one’s perceived position. Secondly. the higher the probability that they will be able to integrate their personal objectives with the organizational objectives so that pursuing either one will have a positive impact on getting the other. Actions The last level literally is where all of the action is. and last. any one of myriad possible actions are available to attempt to get willing compliance to work from others.within the contexts of their specific situations. The first and most subjective view relates to personal objectives.

the higher the probability that it will be easy to develop a theory of leadership and a set of objectives that are consistent with and clearly reflect those assumptions. as opposed to the more conventional view that growth only occurs toward the right or “trust” (Theory Y) end of the continuum. In this case. Herein lies the Gestalt perspective to leadership. Manager “A”—Congruence Having worked with this model for a number of years. “X” and “Y” are being used solely because they represent one very familiar and clear example of a relevant sub-boundary. Growth can occur in either direction. versus selecting one that just barely makes it or doesn’t make it at all?” Most people attempt to answer this question by going outside of themselves (asking a colleague. There is nothing wrong with this approach. with confidence. “A” is clear about how she sees herself. that is.any given moment. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .and short-term objectives that are important for her. Gestalt theory does not imply that one “should” move toward either pole. 3 122 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. In this case. to select the leadership actions that will enable him or her to deal easily and effectively with most situations. but less workable. Equally relevant.3 From this point of clarity and comfort. and much more The focus of this piece is not yet another reworking of Theory X/Theory Y. at least at first: Go inside. Using Theory X / Theory Y as a convenient set of assumptions to illustrate the premise in Figure 4a. and the work setting. the “growing edge” of the cynic would be to learn to trust others more appropriately. increasing leadership effectiveness is only a matter of answering the following question: “Given an almost infinite number of choices. she is more able to develop ways in which to work more confidently and comfortably and she is more able to surface and state clear long. Figure 4a. would be the sub-boundary of mistrust/trust of others. it is from this position that the leader will be able. the “growing edge” for the naive individual would be to learn to mistrust others to the point that that response would be appropriate. Most important. that the capacity for trusting is any more valuable than the capacity for mistrusting. or attending a seminar). the higher the probability that the leader will be able to respond appropriately. I see that the clearer the individual is about his or her assumptions concerning self and others. how do I select an action that will work best for me in getting willing compliance in this situation. freer to give her commitments openly and unhesitatingly. reading a book. others. She is clearer about what is important to her. 2nd Edition. The thrust of Gestalt theory is on the individual’s being clear about where he or she is on this dimension right now and then being able to move in the direction that is most responsive to getting what is wanted. however. I suggest that there is a better place to go. more willing to state disagreement with things that are dissonant for her.

however.available for effective collaboration when that is what is called for in the situation (Karp. For him there is little or no awareness of what people are like. these actions are low risk. no theory ever fits well.” His purgatory is one of constantly plaguing himself with questions such as. Leader “B. that is. those arising from the perceived boundary.” on the other hand. more to the point. is unclear about his assumptions. including himself. frequently. “I should be more open (or participative or collaborative or caring). because of his lack of awareness of this or the social unacceptability of being seen as an “X” type. This does not provide a healthy prescription for increasing leadership effectiveness. very few actions are ever wholly trusted by him. both his theory and objectives are cast in terms of others’ views and values. he has no choice but to rely heavily on other people’s views. leader “B” actually is somewhere nearer the “X” side of the continuum. 1976). and. no objectives are ever tested. From this position. nothing ever fits for “B. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 123 . The result is that his actions. “What will my boss think?” “What should I do next?” “What would my predecessor do in this situation?” and “Is it fair for me to ask for this?” Figure 4b. judgments. how he sees things. are rarely creative and rarely fully responsive to the situation. what is or is not important for him. In Figure 4b. and little ability to support himself. Therefore. are not compatible with who he really is and how he sees things. although usually adequate. The actions he allows himself. and suggestions. 2nd Edition. This usually takes the form of such thoughts as. Manager “B”—Incongruence Because “B” has no clear sense of what he wants. and he perceives himself as being much more toward the “Y” side. bosses. His tendency is to confuse a changing situation with the notion that the characteristics of people are changing on a moment-by-moment basis. and consultants who tell him how he should see other people.” His assumptions generally are derived from theorists. Simply stated. a surface conversion to human-relations training has occurred. Those actions that would fit for him and The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.

Each and every leadership situation that one encounters is. Integration is the process through which we begin to regain and re-own these lost parts. before attempting to rely on their own knowledge. His only area for real. and sense of what is appropriate. With much help from others.” who brings all she has to the work situation. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . This can have a strong negative impact on leadership behaviors later on in life. to some degree. parenting. he models incongruity as his leadership style to those he is attempting to influence. corrective feedback on the job. Furthermore. or religious guidance. This sets a bad example and tends to increase the probability that the next “generation” of leaders will be even more likely to look to others for guidance and direction first. What has occurred in most cases is that. suppose that I describe and experience myself as being “easygoing” and “thoughtful. is that by being incongruent. he will never be able to fully maximize his potential for personal growth and creativity. particularly on the “Actions” line. competence and effectiveness are held to be the natural state. As opposed to leader “A.be responsive to the present challenging conditions he rejects for fear of being seen as an autocrat. As long as this condition exists. effective action is the small area in “Actions” where his actual and his perceived capacities overlap. The greater the amount of overlap on the “Boundary” level. Casting this into the organizational setting. because of societal norms. For example. This implies that a leader must have more than a single way of approaching and dealing with contingencies. the more congruence and choices that fit on all other levels. the premise is as follows: The more effective leader will be the one who can generate the most alternatives in any given situation.” Furthermore. Integration also serves the function of effectively expanding one’s I-Boundary. Although the value may be a fine one. although more subtle. unique. 2nd Edition. nor will the organization be able to realize the full extent of his ability to contribute effectively. For example. suppose that as a young child I was taught never to speak ill of others. Even more damaging. we have learned to disvalue certain parts of ourselves. believing it completely as a child could result in my being a supervisor who is unwilling or unable to give my direct reports clear. or Theory X type leader. internal strength. The key to increased leadership effectiveness is first to get as much overlap as possible between where you are and where you think you are. suppose that I have been fairly effective overall in 124 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. we even have attempted to amputate many of these parts. leader “B” brings only the shadow of others. A leader’s effectiveness will be increased to the extent that he or she can (1) be fully aware of the uniqueness of this particular situation and (2) be able to respond to the situation authentically. The Need for Integration Gestalt theory maintains that every human being is born with the capacity to experience his or her full range of human characteristics. education.

unless I am free enough to generate that alternative and am willing to consider it. It does mean that I can readily leave this stance when the situation calls for it and be just as comfortable for as long as it takes to accomplish what needs to be accomplished from a different position. tough. or logical—the more responsive I can be to any ongoing situation. the higher the probability that an optimally effective choice will emerge. If leaders would give up their self-demand to be consistent and replace it with a selfdemand to be optimally effective. might be the best way to avert an overall crisis. Much recent literature alleges that organizations that operate from a Theory Y set of assumptions and values are more effective than those that operate from a Theory X set. I can choose not to implement a certain alternative because it would be unfair to another person. Once again. where do I find the toughness needed to respond to the present situation? In the absence of toughness. I find myself with one of two possible alternatives. supportive. when it is time to make the conscious choice of what to do.consistently coming from this position. using Theory X/Theory Y as a convenient reference point. thoughtful. definition refers to the ability to create choices of action before committing to a specific course of action. This view of alternatives underscores the premise that there is no one best way to be. and the most valuable contribution made is his or her unique perspective. this particular alternative. the more diverse the originating pool of opinion. Note that this does not preclude the reality and the rightness of choosing to spend the greatest majority of my time in my most comfortable stance. When first viewing the situation. I have consciously denied myself the option of choosing for or against it. then it is appropriate to consider these restrictions. It also suggests that. In attaining organizational objectives. For example. they would be better leaders. I could attempt to restructure the situation so that I could somehow respond to the situation from my comfort zone (attempt to reason with a bully) or I could choose simply not to respond. Managers frequently limit the generation of workable alternatives because of fear of negative reactions from others or a fear of being seen as unfair. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 125 . more aggressive parts of myself in order to please others. although unfair to a single individual. In addition. Each effective leader brings a totally unique being (himself or herself) to each organizational decision point. aggressive. there are several potentially effective ways to attack most problems and pursue most objectives.” A second. responding to these concerns is definitely counterproductive. what happens when there is a crisis or I am attacked in some way? Because over time I have eliminated the tougher. angry. However. and equally important. 2nd Edition. However. People like me this way and reinforce my behavior. However. Anything that discourages a broader range of alternatives limits the potential for a successful outcome. in most cases. One way of defining alternatives is “ways of being. the more authentic ways I have to be—easygoing. integration can be viewed in terms of how the four levels of leadership contribute to individual leadership effectiveness. humorous. Certainly self-directed work teams and total quality management programs rest solidly The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. However.

2nd Edition. but rather one of how clearly those assumptions are stated and owned by the leadership and membership of the respective organizations. such as Marine Corps boot camps. objectives.e. she might have made a good Marine stockade commander but not a very effective supervisor of a social work unit. Many organizations are maximally effective operating from a clear set of Theory X assumptions. as a necessary precondition. At TP1. 126 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. certain religious organizations.. i. growth for “A” in TP1 would be toward the right. Although this allegation may be true in many cases. and mostly are not to be trusted. side of the scale. or Theory X. she is using that awareness as a means of selecting the appropriate leadership approaches. A year later. In Figure 5. Change Assume that she is doing very well and decides that she wants to increase her leadership effectiveness. and averse to responsibility. leader “A” is operating authentically from the position on the X/Y subboundary in Time Period 1 (TP1). . Is this growth? Most people would say that it is. She attends some workshops in team building and total quality management. and almost all penal institutions. will avoid responsibility. the more encompassing the boundary. She is clear about the assumptions she holds. However. For whatever reason. however. she is holding a more authentic Theory Y set of assumptions at the indicated point in Figure 5. At TP2 she only has the capacity to see them as potential opportunities for growth. and actions that fit best for her.in the Theory Y assumptions about people. it is not always true. Given. unmotivated. . Growth for her in TP2 would be toward the left. does some personal growth work to increase her communication and listening skills. In TP2. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and develops a more genuine concern for her people. that people tend to be lazy. motivated. congruence between a leader’s actual and perceived boundaries. the broader the effective range of “Actions” available. The secret in increasing leadership effectiveness is to be able to do as much of both as you can! As Figure 5 suggests. It is not growth . it is change! At TP1. and open to responsibility. or the Theory Y. The issue is not so much one of what the underlying assumptions are. I disagree. Figure 5. at Time Period 2 (TP2). leader “A” only has the capacity to view people as potentially lazy. side of the scale in order to regain her capacity for toughness and mistrust. she has limited her capacity for supportiveness and trust. the situation would be reversed.

or any increase in effectiveness. the probability of discomfort. The implication is that anything that ever worked for you in the past has a capacity to work for you again. He needs to increase his capacity for mistrust. “B” loses no capacities in the process. and diminished self-confidence increases proportionally. It just needs to be tested and adapted to the present conditions. He has done such a good job that he is given a promotion to a new location. This is the same point that “A” began in Figure 5. be willing to discipline. Figure 6b. always occurs at the boundary. These skills are what the new position requires. 6b. 2nd Edition. the far boundary stays fixed. He is clear and unapologetic about where he is and how he sees things and maintains enough flexibility to be willing to learn. going to seminars on team building and participative management. His growth opportunity now is in the opposite direction. risk. he succeeds in overcoming the challenge. Figure 6c then depicts his capacities after successfully responding to these conditions. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 127 . in either direction. TP2.” Time Period 1 in Figure 6a indicates the starting position. and 6c for leader “B. 3. Growth. is best depicted in Figures 6a. provide unilateral direction. Growth. or effectiveness. and experimenting with some new collaborative techniques that stretch him). and growth is now in the opposite direction. toward the X—the more controlling—side of the continuum. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. indicates where he is at the point of successfully responding to the challenge. By working out of the extreme congruent position (getting some coaching in communications and listening skills. 2. A leader’s best position in the face of new challenge is at the very edge of his or her Zone of Comfort. and so forth. He is now faced with a leadership challenge that requires a more supportive set of assumptions and approaches than he presently possesses.Whether speaking of personal growth in the group setting or of leadership effectiveness in the organizational setting. As one nears the edge of a sub-boundary and the probability for growth increases. This model suggests three axioms for increasing personal and leadership effectiveness: 1. On his first day at the new location. “B” is precisely where he thinks he is. he discovers to his consternation that each of his new direct reports is either an ex-convict or would like to become one. the premise is as follows: Growth is not changing existing positions but rather expanding them. When growth occurs on any continuum. in which the perceived position and actual positions for “B” are congruent.

the higher the potential for the maximum strength of the team. The concept of synergy suggests that because the whole (team) is greater than and different from the sum of its component parts (individuals).CONCLUSION Regardless of the setting in which it is employed. 2nd Edition. The best way to build an effective team is to focus on the individual. When the leader 128 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the Gestalt approach relies heavily on the use of paradox. Several such paradoxes may be very helpful in increasing leadership effectiveness. Paradox I. the stronger each individual member is.

Paradox II.). (1970).R. CA: Science and Behavior. People are much more different from each other than they are similar. each of whom is able and more willing to contribute uniquely to the organizational objective. acted in consonance with the approach. Palo Alto. after reading this article. paradoxically. you have become more aware of your existing position and how it is of more service to you than the one presented here.” she no longer has to expend effort in defending her position or hiding it. At the very minimum. The best way to change is not to change (Beisser. most leadership training and development programs are geared specifically to the expansion of theory. The paradoxical theory of change. Once this differentiation process is established and is well under way. Some direct implications can be shown for the future training and development for the leaders of today’s and tomorrow’s organizations. The Gestalt approach focuses heavily on what is rather than on what should be. once the effective Theory X leader is told.L. you have allowed yourself to try something new. You are more aware of how our respective theories and assumptions differ. confident individuals. and at least for now. In J. you have gained another alternative that might be useful to you at some later date. or set of assumptions is going to be universally applicable to the individual’s or the organization’s needs—this one included. That is. What has been missing is the essential first step—assisting individual leaders in becoming more clear and more confident in the assumptions they make about themselves and others and in their ability to provide the necessary leadership to get the organization where it needs to go.focuses on and legitimizes the value of individual differences and common goals. Currently. REFERENCES Beisser. Gestalt therapy now. if successful. In this process. you reject it. Paradox III. 1970). for example. The range of uniqueness is infinite and is limited only by an inability to recognize the differences that do exist. If. theory. each group member is encouraged to develop the best way to be and to work. and the learning of new techniques. “It’s really okay to be how you are. No “One Best Way” is the one best way. linkages are formed among strong. you are more sure that your position is more useful and correct for you than is mine. Assisting a leader to be more aware and appreciative of how she is rather than how she should be puts that person in better position to make a conscious decision to remain in this position or to try something different. A. Permanent change is the only kind of change that has lasting impact on increasing the effectiveness of the individual and the organization. the change will become permanent change. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and have then consciously chosen to reject it in favor of an existing position. Fagan & I. 2nd Edition. you have. the pursuit of objectives. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 129 . have weighed it carefully. In short. and the same can be said for organizations. No single approach. Making it genuinely safe for her to relax and experience her present position more fully is a change! Any modification in her approach that she makes from this position is because she chooses to do so. Shepherd (Eds.

The shouldist manager. The 1974 annual handbook for group facilitators. D. McGregor. S. W. (1969). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Pfeiffer & J. San Diego. New York: Brunner/Mazel.E. In J. (1960).M. & Polster. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Moab.Bennis. Pfeiffer & J. Lake Worth. The shadow of organization development.B.E. Karp. Reading. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pfeiffer & J.). Personal power: An unorthodox guide to success. F. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.G. The 1976 annual handbook for group facilitators. S.W. In J. Organization development: Its nature and origins and prospects. Jones (Eds.E.M. A gestalt approach to collaboration in organizations. San Diego. In and out the garbage pail. (1976). The 1976 annual handbook for group facilitators. Herman. Jones (Eds. In J.M. 2nd Edition.B. 130 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Perls. (1969). CA: Pfeiffer & Company.W.. M. E. H. (1974).W. MA: AddisonWesley. San Diego. FL: Gardner Press.). (1973). Karp. Herman.S. The human side of enterprise. H. Polster. Jones (Eds. Gestalt theory integrated.). UT: Real People Press. (1976). (1995).

In order for TQM to work.„‚ THE EIGHT-SYSTEMS MODEL FOR IMPLEMENTING TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT Homer H. quality measurement. so they die a quick death. William Pfeiffer (Ed. and this is best accomplished by ensuring that the quality process is present in the key systems of the organization. and quality-improvement activities. the eight-systems model. San Diego. and the like could be adapted easily and quickly to most organizations. training. TQM professionals know how to measure quality and have done a superb job of developing problem-solving tools and training programs to teach the tools quickly and competently. A basic assumption behind the model is that total quality is (needs to be) an integrated set of activities that reaches all parts of the organization. those that had a furious but short-lived burst of activity. or write a quality mission statement. However. One would think that a process that promises increased sales. the process has to be implemented “in total. Too often organizations set up quality-improvement teams. higher morale. increased market share. Although an organization may be viewed Originally published in The 1996 Annual: Volume 2. and the other systems support those improvements. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The failure to make TQM “total” seems to be the major cause of the inability of many organizations to effectively implement TQM despite its considerable advantages. the contrary seems to be true.” This paper is an attempt to address this problem by proposing a model of Total Quality Management. 2nd Edition. communication. or establish quality goals but do these activities in isolation. and for the organization to reap the benefits of it. The quality landscape seems to be littered with organizations that could never find the first step to take on the path. the eight-systems model. structure. quality planning. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 131 . This article addresses this problem by proposing a model of total quality management. The eight systems are leadership. The eighth system consists of the activities that actually bring about improvement. wider profit margins. Consulting by J. Johnson Abstract: The failure to make total quality management “total” is the reason for its lack of success in many organizations. that may be used as a rough framework to design a total-quality process. these systems should merge with the existing and ongoing organizational systems.). The implementation of total quality management (TQM) has been an elusive target in many organizations. As The TQM process matures. unrelated to how the rest of the organization functions. rewards and recognition. Much more difficult to develop has been the methodology to integrate the various pieces that make up TQM in an organization. and those that half-heartedly conducted quality activities that never lead anywhere. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. that may be used as a framework for designing a totalquality process.

or has quality goals. the quality process also must be viewed as consisting of a similar set of systems. Leadership 2. quality and business planning will merge and become parts of the same planning system. s The organization’s operations and decisions are based on fact. The definition of TQM used in this paper is similar to that used in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award examination items. However. Quality-improvement activities This model is illustrated in Figure 1. quality planning initially may be a separate process from that of normal business planning. The eight-systems model suggests that TQM can be most successfully implemented by focusing attention on eight basic management systems. which consists of specific activities. Quality planning 4. Quality measurement 7. that are designed to directly improve quality. such as quality-improvement teams. It is important to highlight those quality-improvement activities that directly improve quality or customer satisfaction or whatever the designated targets are in the organization. s The focus is on the prevention of all quality problems. s The basis of quality is well-designed and well-executed systems and processes. as the total-quality process matures. and s All personnel should be trained and active in quality-improvement activities. However. Improvement can come only through the employees’ and managers’ actually changing the ways in which the work is done or changing the design of the product or 132 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Training 5. the underlying assumptions are: s Quality is defined by the customer. In the model the seven outer systems are all linked to the inner system. Briefly. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The systems that define the total-quality process initially may be separate from the standard organizational systems to ensure that they receive the necessary attention. the quality system will become an important part of the regular organizational systems.as consisting of an integrated set of systems. Communication 8. Structure 3. Rewards and recognition 6. The fact that an organization has a quality policy. or trains its employees in statistical process control does not reduce scrap or cycle time one bit. s Continuous improvement is a key part of the management of all systems and processes. These eight systems are: 1. For example. 2nd Edition. once the process develops.

The activities of the eight systems must be integrated into a coherent totalquality process. All eight systems must be “activated. the following must occur: 1. Figure 1. it is especially critical that it be led by the key executives of the organization. Indeed. The quality-improvement activities are absolutely critical. The Eight-Systems Model for Total Quality Management A basic assumption of the model is that in order to design an effective TQM process for an organization.service.” i.. There must be a clear and specific set of activities or functions for each system. and 3. the first category of the „‚ 133 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.e. 2. 1. LEADERSHIP Because total quality management includes the total organization. the design will include all eight systems. 2nd Edition. and all of the other systems should be directed toward making sure that the improvement activities are occurring effectively. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .

may be two lists. or behavioral-role description. The Xerox Corporation (Kearns & Nadler. and visibility in the quality-related activities of the organization. and so on. The role of senior management. Management has a special role in creating clear quality values and ensuring that these are communicated throughout the organization and integrated into the day-to-day management and supervision of all organizational units. to make sure that sufficient resources are provided for the quality activities. The area of TQM design in which there is a significant danger of creating a mechanism that would compete or interfere with normal business operations is the 134 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.. Xerox managers receive feedback from employees as to the manager’s conformance to these standards through an annual survey and are evaluated on these standards in the regular performance-appraisal process. STRUCTURE If TQM can be viewed as a planned coordination of activities directed toward a specific goal. i. Examples of these kinds of activities include his or her personal training of direct reports. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 1992) has used this very effectively in its “Leadership Through Quality” process in providing “Standards for a Role Model Manager” to which all managers are to adhere. it may be helpful to define their roles in very specific terms by listing those activities that are expected of senior managers as well as other managers. having quality-improvement projects active in his or her office. This activity list. The first list consists of those actions that a senior manager must execute to implement and maintain a TQM process. This provides an effective vehicle for establishing (and integrating) the “Leadership Through Quality” process throughout the organization. Similar behavioral-role descriptions should be developed for managers throughout the organization to ensure that all managers are “leading” the quality process. Because “quality leadership” may be new to most managers. in fact of all management. and these standards are used as criteria for promotion. This category is seen as the “driver” of the other categories of the award. writing a monthly article on quality for the company newsletter. personal involvement. full attendance at quality council meetings. visiting quality-improvement team meetings. The second list includes those activities that signal the senior manager’s personal commitment to (or modeling of) the TQM process. 2. is to exhibit leadership. total customer satisfaction. such as to form and chair a Quality Council.Baldrige Award is leadership. then the quality “structure” can be viewed as both the division of labor and the hierarchy of authority of the coordinated activities. and so on. to make quality a part of the performance goals of his or her direct reports.e. Thus. 2nd Edition. One of the frequently cited causes of the failure to implement a TQM process is the lack of commitment or the half-hearted involvement of the senior managers. the quality structure tells who has the responsibility for what quality activities and defines the lines of decision-making authority.

It is led by the top management of the division. The next step in the structure is quality-improvement teams (QITs). There is a danger of creating a bureaucracy that could overpower the basic business processes that are key to delivering the organization’s products and services. which has the same responsibilities as the council for the total organization.. it should consist of the members of the senior management team. it may include union representatives in unionized plants). to review progress on these goals. however.) 2. the use of statistical process control. The responsibilities of this council are to formulate quality policies and values. or company/supplier teams. it seems imperative that the quality structure must have the following characteristics: 1. they also may be within a department. Closely mimic the formal structure of the organization so that it can be coordinated easily with the “normal” activities of the organization. and one has to design a system that best fits the organization. These teams are often crossfunctional teams. (For example. These may include the monitoring of quality indicators. it is one of coordination and prodding. although the membership of the council may be broader in scope (e. The final activities listed in Figure 2 are those that occur as part of the daily routine of the work unit. The quality coordinator facilitates and coordinates quality-related activities. it is difficult to see the quality activities of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel or AT&T Universal Card Services [1992 Baldrige Award winners] as anything but the normal and routine activities of these companies. which are assigned or choose specific quality-improvement projects. The important point is that there needs to be some coherent and coordinated division of labor and hierarchy of authority for quality-related activities if a total-quality process is to be successful. Figure 2 outlines a fairly typical structure for a large corporation. to formulate quality goals. In Figure 2. and to direct corrective actions when necessary. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The structure outlined is only one of many possibilities. the quality efforts are led by senior managers who also are members of a quality council. however. or company/customer teams. As illustrated in the figure. be easy to operate. Eventually be merged into the “normal” structure and activities of the organization.creation of structure. and problem-solving activities.) Given all the previous provisions. with top management driving the process. 2nd Edition. each division (or plant or region) of the organization may have its own quality council. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 135 . (For example. the managers and employees have that responsibility.g. and not generate a bureaucracy of its own. 3. if there is a quality council directing the quality efforts. inspection. For this reason. This is not an “authority” position. it is focused on quality-related activities of the division. He or she is not responsible for quality in the organization. Not be complex.


The care with which the Hoshin process targets a limited number of objectives that will have a significant impact on quality or customer satisfaction. more popular in Japan than in the United States. All objectives and plans. 1991). so a division head’s or plant manager’s annual bonus is contingent on the attainment of specified objectives. Quite often. and training costs of the quality effort. The planning system specifies the direction that the organization will take in both the long term (five years) and the short term (one to three years) and describes the actions necessary to achieve the goals and objectives. should support the strategic goals of the organization. top management formulates the general objectives of the organization. a separate quality-planning process may be useful both to highlight the process and to provoke discussion of quality objectives and actions. However. 2. equipment. As with the other systems. For example. Most quality-planning efforts in organizations in the United States are similar to. 2nd Edition. divisions. many of which are of minor importance. at all levels. including quality-related objectives. chosen by the policy deployment committee. the organization’s annual management-by-objectives (MBO) process. those objectives are tied in with the compensation system. QUALITY PLANNING Quality planning is the process of setting quality-related objectives as well as deciding on the suitable courses of action to be taken for accomplishing those objectives. All The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The strategy of Hoshin planning is to focus the organization’s resources on a few (three to seven) specific and important goals. These goals. then unit objectives follow in a flow-down procedure. in the initial implementation of the quality process. First. or a part of. The assumption is that it is better to make substantial progress in a few critical areas than to expend energy in a lot of areas. It also should include a review-and-correction process to monitor progress on the quality plans. Its customers had identified this as a top priority. There usually is some input and negotiation between units.3. The planning system must take into account and plan for the personnel. The critical differences between the MBO process and the Hoshin process are as follows: 1. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 137 . Another planning process. is quality policy deployment or Hoshin planning (Akao. and corporate headquarters as the process develops. it is imperative that the quality-planning system be integrated with the “normal” business planning and budgeting processes of the organization. are important to the customers or the organization and allow significant progress or “breakthroughs” to be made. one of the Hoshin goals of Florida Power and Light was to eliminate or significantly reduce blackouts. All units or persons who might contribute to those objectives are expected to do so. This process includes a category for “quality objectives” together with other categories of business objectives.

units that might contribute to this goal. throws the larger system out of order (Walton. quality-related training is not the only type of training a manager or employee should receive. There are several popular models. in which every person is expected to continually update and extend his or her job-related skills. do not have a formal quality-planning process. After the first cycle is completed with all personnel. 2nd Edition. 138 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. There are other. The danger with this “nonplanning” approach is that a lot of energy is spent on activities that may have little impact. There also is the danger of what Deming referred to as “suboptimizing the system. all new hires should be given awareness training regarding the quality strategy being used in the organization and what is expected of them in the process. if the organization uses the technique. seven-. There is an expectation that all units will be engaged in a process of continuous improvement. customer service. However. with special emphasis on what TQM is. one that helps coordinate quality activities around important quality goals. and sometimes suppliers and customers. There should be several courses available for all personnel.. what the organization expects to gain by implementing it. other organizations train employees on a just-in-time basis. Some of the better organizations view themselves as “continuous learning” organizations. Quality also can be improved by increasing a person’s competence to perform his or her job. Some organizations train all employees in how to use the chosen model.g. some of which are required of everyone and some of which are restricted to those who need the specific skills. Some organizations stipulate that all employees are obligated to engage in a specified number of hours of training annually. as much of the quality improvement occurs in teams. structured problemsolving sequences. 1990). and the units know where best to direct their efforts. courses on team skills and facilitation skills are pertinent. equipment design. Some planning mechanism is necessary. courses that teach skills used by quality professionals. Many organizations. in doing so. most being six-. Organizations that are beginning quality efforts should start with “quality awareness” training. made this one of their main quality priorities. TRAINING The objective of the quality-training system is to provide all personnel. There could be a course on statistical process control. or eight-step. and what will be expected of managers and employees as participants in the process. and a course on quality planning. Several other courses might be included in quality training.” in which each unit optimizes its own area of responsibility and. highly specialized. Everyone in the organization also should be trained in a quality-improvement or problem-solving model—a model that is used to solve quality problems. and repair services. including those that are active in quality improvement. e. For example. purchasing. Quality training should be systematic and systemic. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 4. with the skills to effectively perform quality-related activities.

critical. and rewarding employees based on individual performance (Walton. W. point is that most U.S. The first is that managers and employees quickly learn what is important in their jobs and act accordingly. organizations schedule annual (or quarterly) performance appraisals that determine. Managers and employees understand what is important and what is not. Many U. Training does not occur only in a classroom. The message that quality is important must be reinforced. The latter approach seems to be gaining in popularity because it avoids training people who do not use their acquired skills immediately and it is less costly. Managers and their subordinates have to know that they will be rewarded in some way for producing quality products and services and that quality work is one of the expectations of the job. organizations have bonus systems for executives and key The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and employees have very little influence over this. in turn. outside consultants. managers. For example. For example. Two additional points must be considered. 5. REWARDS AND RECOGNITION One of the major causes of failure of the quality process is a reward system that “endorses” quality but actually rewards something other than quality work. A second. Managers and employees should be coaching and instructing one another on tools and techniques. They also have the highest credibility. This area elicits considerable controversy among quality professionals. 1990). as they are the people most in contact with how it will be used.The question often arises of who should do the training: the training department. 2nd Edition. or managers and line employees? A strong case can be made for managers (or managers and line employees) providing the quality training. He argued that 85 percent of performance is caused by the design of the system. There is no better way to learn something thoroughly than by teaching it. in which the CEO trains his direct reports and they. particularly around the appraisal and reward aspects of the system. sends a very clear signal about the commitment of managers to the quality process. in many organizations the only important performance criterion is meeting a production quota. among other things. Edwards Deming (the TQM “guru”) was opposed to performance goals. and quality becomes something that is preached but not practiced. and teams should be evaluating the processes they are using to continually increase their effectiveness.S. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 139 . pay increases and promotions. Another related issue is whether all personnel should receive two or three days of training on the quality-improvement process and the quality tools or whether the training should be done “just-in-time” by forming improvement teams around an important quality problem and training the teams as they progress. Any differences that appear in employee performance are probably the results of random fluctuations. performance appraisals. train their direct reports. The flow-down method of start-up quality training used by Xerox. it should be an integral part of the job.

Other organizations have based portions (e. performance appraisals and differential reward systems are part of the fabric of U.S. the information is of no value.” and so on. This purpose should be very clear in an organization that is implementing the TQM process. such as listing their names in the company newsletter. to convert these data to usable formats. The goal of the measurement system is to collect information on quality-related processes and results. 1993. surveys have indicated that employees are just as pleased with nonmonetary recognition. Somehow. or special parking places. The only way it can add value is in the hands of people who transform the data into action. The information that is collected in this process must have the following characteristics: s s Important to a quality-related process and to the customer. 2nd Edition. Otherwise. business. The purpose of collecting quality-related information is to use it to improve the quality of the products/services and processes of the organization.. Organizations that use Phil Crosby’s TQM model (Crosby. Although making quality a part of the appraisal and reward system is critical. 25 percent) of executives’ annual bonuses on specific improvements in quality results. There are many ways of rewarding and recognizing people for quality work. qualityrecognition pins. 1979) have developed elaborate and effective programs for the recognition of individuals and teams who have excelled in quality (Johnson. One option is to do so directly. quality must be incorporated into performance appraisals and reward systems. The important thing is that a reward and recognition program for quality be in place. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer 140 ‚„ . and Available to a person or unit who can use the information to improve the process or product or service. Information should add value to the organization. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. movie tickets. There are various ways of recognizing employees for their quality efforts. plaques. awarding them certificates.g. and to distribute the data to the appropriate user in a timely fashion.managers. t-shirts. and a “Participative Management Program” has teams working on specific quality-related projects for which they receive an annual bonus. and collecting it is a wasteful activity. 6. Another approach is Motorola’s performance-management system: a traditional MBO system is used for regular work planning (and annual pay raises). Xerox Corporation’s “Leadership Through Quality” process is a good example of participation in quality improvement as a basis for raises or promotion. Townsend. based on the results they achieve. placing their names on a “Quality Wall of Fame. QUALITY MEASUREMENT An old adage states that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Whether it makes sense or not. The information is used as a “score card” to see how an organization or a unit is doing in a particular area and then to improve its processes or products. 1990).

Other communication channels are a quality bulletin board (either on a wall or via the computer). complaint handling. An organization cannot know where its problems are or whether it is making progress in solving them without a good system of measuring and monitoring. of suppliers’ and vendors’ products and service.g. etc. frequency of machine breakdown. product inquiries. Internal-Within Divisions or Units: Data on products or processes specific to divisions or units. There needs to be a mechanism by which the improvements made by a quality-improvement team are dispersed for use by all relevant units. 2. employee turnover. One major communication need is keeping people informed about the many quality activities that are going on in the organization. much of these data are collected only within specific units and are only of value within those units. etc. the money transfer unit may collect data on six or eight quality indices related to its effectiveness. and announcement of quality-award winners all are important. The newsletter also may include a message from the CEO and recognition of people who were helpful in the quality effort. 4. progress on the quality goals. employee satisfaction. Internal-Company-wide: Data on safety. etc. one of the QITs at Florida Power and Light found that galvanized-metal power switches would corrode in saltspray areas and subsequently fail. cycle time. First Chicago Corporation regularly collects data on 650 indices of quality. and activities of the quality process or they will lose interest. 3. One effective way of disseminating this information is through a weekly or monthly quality newsletter that is distributed to all personnel. goals. special meetings (or rallies). notification of coming events.. conformance to specifications. The measurement system is critical. COMMUNICATION As TQM becomes implemented in an organization. External-Output: Data on customer satisfaction with products and services. People must be continually reminded of the purpose. Changing to bronze or stainless steel switches „‚ 141 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. A second important area of communication is the transfer of quality results. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . number of on-time shipments. External-Input: Data on quality. statistical process control within a unit. and the mail service may collect data on a different six to eight indices related to its effectiveness. However. The types of data usually collected can be classified in four general subcategories: 1. the activities of each of the cross-functional qualityimprovement teams. Information about training activities. For example. it is the organization’s scorecard. error rates. 2nd Edition. For example. etc. award ceremonies. there is an increasing need to establish channels of communication in order to keep people informed about progress. and making quality news part of the agenda of all meetings. e. timeliness. 7. Thus.A large organization may collect data on several hundred indices of quality..

A process for identifying the important quality indicators for a unit and developing a system to measure and monitor them. Too many diffuse activities are difficult to monitor. This is a never-ending process of focusing on a product or process. 142 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Typically. and processes of the organization. 1988).) 3. tailored to the organization. There are organizations that have a quality policy or a quality council. and coordinated with the quality-support systems. The words “directly affect” are key to the definition of this system. A minimal but effective system may be limited to only three basic activities: 1. and difficult to keep focused on the important initiatives of the organization. It is relatively easy to write a quality policy or to set quality goals. services. the problem often is a failure to execute. In developing this system. but considerably more difficult to get quality improvement teams. the responsibility for the transfer of results rests with the quality council and the quality coordinator.eliminated this problem and increased service reliability. difficult to control. 8. it is important that the activities be limited and focused. a suggestion system. 2nd Edition. and then going on to another product or process and improving it. but in which there seems to be no improvement in the quality of their products and services. It is only through these direct activities that quality improvement can occur. This distinction is critical. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and the like working effectively and delivering quality improvements on a consistent basis. There are some activities that directly maintain and improve quality. The teams do not wait for a problem to occur. quality circles. the organization cannot help but improve its customer service and its competitive position. with organization-supplier issues. they identify key products and processes and work to continually improve them. In such organizations. This system is the most difficult to do and to do well.) The goal of these activities is continuous quality improvement. and there are other activities that provide support for these direct activities. The mechanisms designed to directly impact the quality of the products or services or processes are either nonexistent or perform poorly. 2. This knowledge was dispersed and is now company-wide policy (Staff. (This could be weekly team meetings to review the key quality indicators for the unit and initiate ways of improving them. or who set quality goals. or special project teams. improving it. and with complex problems not easily handled by a regular work team. A problem-solving and improvement process within each unit. If this process is occurring in all units. or more formal quality circles. (The most common examples of this mechanism are quality-improvement teams with cross-functional membership and which deal with cross-functional problems. A problem-solving and improvement mechanism to deal with cross-functional issues. QUALITY-IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES This system encompasses those tasks and activities that directly affect the quality of the products.

Bean is noted for its superiority in the distribution process and has been used as a benchmark by many firms. This step is followed by quality-awareness training throughout the organization. Benchmarking is the method by which members of one organization visit other organizations that are noted for their superiority in particular processes. one of the most common is to begin the design process by “benchmarking” several similar organizations that have implemented TQM and identifying what would work best for one’s own organization. outside consultants. which may be made up of customers. IMPLEMENTING AND INTEGRATING THE SYSTEM If the total-quality process is to be successfully implemented in an organization. then by the creation of a quality-measurement system in all units. depending on the size of the organization and the approach being taken. They learn how the “best” operate and use this information as the standard in designing their own processes. As the key managers and others are benchmarking other organizations and reading about others’ successes and failures. This document lists all the major pieces that have to be in place in order for the TQM process to be fully implemented. Another effective improvement mechanism is the audit team. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 143 . they will be gathering ideas about the elements that need to be in The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. “Integrated” means that the activities in the eight systems support and reinforce one another. L.L. and then to set some general quality goals. For example.A variety of other activities can be used to directly affect quality in an organization. The next step is for the top executives and key managers to develop a general vision of what they want the organization to become and how the quality process fits in. including an outline of types of quality-improvement activities that are critical to achieving substantial gains in quality. The elements in the design of the process for a small company are different from the elements for a large corporation. The process continues until all eight systems are activated. s s Although there are several approaches to implementing a TQM process in an organization. Perhaps most common is a company-wide suggestion system in which anyone can suggest quality improvements regarding any process or product. not necessarily in their work area. 2nd Edition. the eight systems must be activated and integrated in all functions of the organization. or internal personnel. The next step is the design of a quality structure that can facilitate the goals. s “Activated” means that there is a set of quality-related activities ongoing in each system. The team reviews processes or products and makes recommendations for their improvement. The process should be guided by a design checklist. “In all functions” means that all units of the organization participate in the quality process. The contents of the checklist vary.

all eight systems must be activated. The sample checklist outlines twenty-six activities that are important to the total quality management process. Every unit in the organization knows that it is expected to participate in measuring and improving quality. and communication have been established for the quality process. The final design checklist becomes the TQM implementation strategy for the organization. authority.the TQM design of their organization. The organization has a quality mission statement and values statement that is understood by all personnel. continuous-improvement model. Figure 3 is an abbreviated outline of a design checklist. They include all the major elements that need to be activated in order to have an effective TQM process. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The quality council periodically reviews progress on the quality goals and initiates corrective action as needed. Sample Design Checklist for the TQM Process s s s STRUCTURE s s s s QUALITY PLANNING s s s s s TRAINING s s s s 144 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. not borrowed from others. 2nd Edition. Figure 3. The organization sets quality-improvement goals and has an effective mechanism for communicating the goals to all units. It is provided for illustrative purposes. A quality coordinator has been appointed to coordinate the quality activities of the organization. Top managers are trained in quality principles and tools. All employees are trained in using a standard. and a consensus should be reached as to which elements will be included. A quality council directs the quality activities of the organization. Quality goals are based on understanding and satisfying customer needs. Top managers are actively involved in quality-related activities. the checklist for each organization should be developed by the organization itself. The eight systems provide the framework for the design checklist. Although the elements that make up the design may vary. Each element should be examined. LEADERSHIP s Top managers have investigated several leading organizations to learn of their quality plans and processes and to establish benchmarks based on their findings. All personnel receive quality-awareness training. There is a mechanism in place that assures that adequate resources will be available to implement the quality activities. Quality-improvement teams receive training in how to work effectively as teams. The organization has a curriculum for training all personnel in quality principles and tools. Top managers send clear messages through their communications and behaviors that quality is a priority in the organization. Clear lines of responsibility.

what is The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. employee feedback. There are effective mechanisms for utilizing the data from the quality-measurement system to improve the quality of the organization’s processes and products. The organization has a mechanism for celebrating. on a company-wide basis. Quality-improvement teams are working with key customers to find ways to improve products and services. there needs to be a mechanism in place that periodically reviews the effectiveness of the TQM process—whether it is achieving the desired results. and its importance to the organization are communicated to all personnel. including plans and reviews of results. The organization has a mechanism for dispersing improvement results from one unit to other units. The quality mission and values. Finally. Quality-improvement efforts are conducted in every unit of the organization. the goals of the quality process. Issues concerning quality. and customer feedback are not on the list in order to keep it from being too lengthy. 2nd Edition. Several quality-improvement teams are actively pursing cross-functional or cross-departmental quality problems. in part. Sample Design Checklist for the TQM Process s QUALITY MEASUREMENT s s s s s COMMUNICATION s s s s QUALITY-IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES s s s s “Total” is the key word: the process must touch all systems in the organization if it is to be effective. Each work unit has several indices to measure the quality of its processes and output. The organization uses several indices to measure organization-wide quality.REWARDS AND RECOGNITION s s s The organization rewards employees for achieving quality goals. The organization has an effective mechanism for informing all personnel about quality information and activities. A quality-improvement team is working with key suppliers to improve the quality of incoming materials. important areas such as employee empowerment. These data are posted in the unit. The organization has a program that recognizes employees who have contributed to the quality process. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 145 . For example. quality accomplishments. The organization regularly measures customer satisfaction with its products and services. are regularly on the agenda of meetings. Figure 3 (continued). The organization measures and monitors the quality of its suppliers. based on achieving quality goals. The sample list does not include all the activities that might be part of the process. Promotion and advancement are.

what needs to be added and what needs to be dropped. That is as much as one can expect from any business practice. Journal of Quality and Participation. (Ed. the payoffs are well worth the effort. It is a great way to keep customers and employees satisfied and to keep the organization profitable. Cambridge. Quality is free. (1992).A. (1993). (1990). 10-16. Townsend.. 1-16. Building a quality improvement program at Florida Power and Light. Prophets in the dark. New York: McGraw-Hill. It should be obvious that all of this requires a major effort on the part of the managers and employees of an organization. M. 28. New York: John Wiley. Hoshin kanri. 4. Staff. and to higher morale.). REFERENCES Akao.B. 146 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Y. H. (1979). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Target. Crosby.working and what is not. to wider profit margins. New York: Harper Business. (1990). (1988). & Nadler. P. Deming management at work. There’s no more doubting Thomases here: How a small service company discovered quality. Johnson. Commit to quality. P. D.H. The quality process leads to greater sales. (1991). D. and how the process can be improved to make it more effective. however.T. New York: Putnam. to lower costs. Walton. MA: Productivity Press. Kearns. 2nd Edition.

Jessey The motivation-hygiene theory. or environmental factors (hygiene). These dissatisfiers may be classed as “deficit” needs in that their importance is felt only in their absence. Jones (Eds. For example. Herzberg draws heavily on the hierarchy of needs developed by Abraham Maslow. However. or those that give the worker a sense of personal accomplishment through the challenge of the job itself. 2nd Edition.” grew out of research on job attitudes conducted by Frederick Herzberg (1966). good working conditions rarely motivate workers.„‚ JOB ENRICHMENT Francis V. bad working conditions are frequently cited by workers as sources of dissatisfaction. San Diego. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. In other words. Herzberg stresses that the factors that truly motivate work are “growth” factors. rather than being given an itinerary preplanned by the manager who doesn’t “know the territory” firsthand the way the installer does. MOTIVATION FACTORS (JOB CONTENT) SATISFIERS Work Itself Achievement Recognition Responsibility Growth and Advancement HYGIENE (JOB ENVIRONMENT) DISSATISFIERS Company Policy & Administration Supervision Working Conditions Interpersonal Relations Salary An example of job enrichment might be the telephone installer who is given the list of places to be covered during the day and asked to order them in the way he or she believes will be most efficient. On the other hand. PRACTICAL APPLICATION In the years that I have been assisting organizations in the implementation of job enrichment. that surround the job cause dissatisfaction when they are in unhealthy condition. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. William Pfeiffer & John E. Herzberg maintains that the context. underlying what is known as “job enrichment.). the internal dynamics that the worker experiences in completing his or her task. In establishing his theory. I have witnessed results that are not only dramatic from an economic Originally published in The 1972 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by J. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 147 . motivation is in the content of the job.

it should be noted that it is time-consuming and. therefore. Incidentally.) The taped interview is played back to the supervisor. (3) it can be measured in specific terms. After understanding and commitment have been established. First. (2) allow them to witness how others have utilized it. the interview feedback has full value in that the supervisor is able to sense the feelings associated with the subjects being discussed as the employees describe their reactions to their jobs. In this manner. It is essential at this point that the supervisor recognize and accept how the implementation of job enrichment will change the focus of his or her job and that he or she begin to practice new behaviors when interacting with his or her subordinates. Their main concern was that their intrinsic talents and interests are not being activated and utilized at work. which can affect the supervisor-subordinate relationship in the areas of trust and respect. After the supervisor has heard all the interviews. Second. I try to assess the level of management commitment. and appropriate notes are taken by both of us as we listen. When I first enter the organization or a “family” group within an organization.viewpoint but. Although not originally designed to fulfill the function. although I prefer the taped interview. more expensive. Immediately after the workshop. he or she develops a “plan of action” that is a positive reaction to the expressed desires of each individual subordinate. The primary purpose of this paper is to present an example of a practical model that I have found effective in implementing job enrichment. 148 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (4) assist the participants in realizing how the implementation of job enrichment will affect their own jobs as well as the jobs of their subordinates. (In my experience. It is ideal for small and medium-sized groups. 75 percent of the employees interviewed wanted increased responsibility and autonomy in their jobs. I point out the possible consequences of inadequate commitment. The organization development application of job enrichment is popular because (1) it can easily be adapted by all levels of management. (3) enable the group members to experiment with one another in applying job enrichment and. The model has been utilized in large and small business organizations as well as in a medium-sized civic organization. management “family” groups attend a two-day. imply that it has stimulated management awareness. I attempt to give a thorough interpretation of job enrichment and my role in it. growth. and effectiveness. The workshop is designed to (1) teach the participants the theory behind job enrichment. I have two primary objectives in mind. job enrichment has been significantly effective in assisting supervisors to improve their management styles. I either distribute a job-reaction survey to everyone in that family organization—management and nonmanagement—or I personally interview each person. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . preferably removed from the work locale. job-enrichment workshop. (2) payoff (results) can be realized in a relatively short time span and. equally important. 2nd Edition. I receive permission from each person being interviewed to allow me to tape record the interview for the purpose of playing the tape back to the supervisor.

The worker regains the sense of being treated as a unique and talented adult.) The recruiting. the supervisor meets with each subordinate separately to mutually decide how best to bring about the changes the subordinate has asked for. The amount and appropriateness of feedback will determine how well job enrichment is integrated into the organization. and production savings in this instance amounted to $141. Employees are also paid to assist in the training and coaching of new employees and people on new assignments. From three to five months after the start of the effort. the supervisor must be on the alert for appropriate opportunities to provide valid. customers. When it is handled properly. Employees are involved in some interesting experiences as a result of job enrichment. suggestions from employees that led to job restructuring resulted in the same production being accomplished by 10 percent fewer people. The quality of work has improved in all the organizations that I have witnessed that have committed themselves to high effort. such as traditional quality control. A lack of feedback can be a cause of failure. Pointing out any differences of opinion is helpful to both. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 149 . the management style. The “temporary boss” has full responsibility and is paid a salary differential during the period. employees are given as much freedom and latitude as is possible. The supervisor regains the respect of his or her subordinates. etc. In one clerical office employing a total force of approximately 125 people. The consequences are unlimited. turnover and absenteeism have been significantly reduced because employees see the job as the vehicle for self-actualization. In some cases. The organization’s gain is The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. SOME PAYOFFS Earlier I alluded to the positive results that I have seen job enrichment bring about. and the quality control is internalized within the employee. helpful feedback. Many of the more capable employees have replaced their supervisors while they were on vacation or at conferences. 2nd Edition.As soon as possible after hearing the interviews.000. Union grievances in one organization dropped from four per month to zero.00 annually. other departments. It also is a good opportunity to determine what effects the implementation of job enrichment is having on areas such as the climate of the organization. former “hidden agendas” are surfaced and positively dealt with in a trusting and open discussion. The emphasis changes from “management knows best” to the individual employee determining what is best for him or her in any given situation. This is a key meeting that has the potential for substantially “bridging” the relationship between the two individuals. In every successful effort. turnover was reduced from an average of fourteen people per month to an average of four per month. After this initial stage has been implemented. Where appropriate. (This took place prior to the 1969 economic downturn. training. are eliminated. I randomly interview a representative number of employees to determine the degree to which there is a “fit” between how managers are assessing the effort and how subordinates feel about it. External double-checks.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .in providing satisfying jobs for employees to increase the organization’s effectiveness and health. OH: World. 150 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. REFERENCE Herzberg. Cleveland. 2nd Edition. Work and the nature of man. (1966). F.

This often is the result of poor or inadequate management training and a lack of understanding about how to shift from one role to another. managers could fire people on the spot for slacking off. William Pfeiffer (Eds. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. students are asked for their suggestions and even for their opinions. Jones & J. but they can improve their counseling skills to the point where they can use them to effectively persuade subordinates to be more productive. LaSota As Fred Fiedler reminded us in a Psychology Today article (1973). Supervisors cannot hope to become “professional” counselors without extensive training and certification. the role of counselor may be the most difficult to understand. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. unions and legislation protect workers from being fired outright for anything other than a major transgression of the rules. disciplinarian. son or daughter. San Diego. They must learn how to convince workers to achieve their objectives or change their behaviors. and students could be expelled from school for talking back to teachers. husband or wife. Originally published in The 1975 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by John E. supervisors must focus on persuading rather than ordering workers to perform. leader. Sailors are permitted to grow sideburns. The “true” counselor is a trained expert who understands the application of behavioral science concepts to human relations. The word counselor has been abused lately. The person in charge used to have unquestioned authority to command and compel. Today. all that has changed. One reason for this is that some supervisors find their role as counselor in conflict with their role as disciplinarian. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 151 .„‚ THE SUPERVISOR AS COUNSELOR Robert A. Reprinted by permission of publisher. from Supervisory Management.). Counselors run the gamut from welltrained professionals to amateurs who deal in such unscientific areas as loan counseling and even funeral counseling. ship captains once could actually whip sailors who didn’t obey orders. Today. All rights reserved. How can the supervisor do this effectively? One of the best ways is through counseling.). American Management Associations. November 1973 © 1973. ROLE CONFLICT Of all the roles that a supervisor may fill in his or her daily life (father or mother. Zawacki and Peter E. New York. etc.

152 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” the “self-structure. The receiver—either through fear of losing his or her job. 2nd Edition. and feelings that influence their behaviors in the relationship. and attitudes. feelings. values. But the supervisor was sharing the responsibility for the outcome of his or her recommendation. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Both helper and receiver must understand that the helper is trying to influence and change the behavior of the receiver in a way that will be useful to both of them. The greater the threat to the person. Behavioral researchers have found that people cope with threats to their selfconcepts by exhibiting defensive behavior or by changing their self-concepts and. To get anywhere close to the mark. or respect for the supervisor. he or she should understand what is likely to go on in a particular subordinate’s mind while the subordinate is being counseled. If the receiver carried out the supervisor’s recommendation and it failed. each of us has a system of ideas and beliefs about himself or herself that is accumulated through many life experiences. think of the counseling role in terms of a helper/receiver relationship rather than a counselor/client one.” or the “self-concept. the person will want not only to preserve it but also to enhance or improve it. values. SELF-CONCEPT Before a supervisor can even begin to counsel a subordinate.” Regardless of the label used. both parties have needs. provoking defensive behavior. (2) the person has a deep-seated need to preserve this system of ideas about himself or herself. Here are some important things to remember about a subordinate’s self concept that will directly affect your counseling relationship: (1) it is a pattern of beliefs developed over a long period of time. and feelings—unless the supervisor was extraordinarily sensitive. Each of us has created an image of himself or herself—an image variously tagged by behavioral scientists as the “self-image. the receiver could always blame the supervisor for having given poor advice. or incurring wrath toward you? One approach proven to be helpful is to present the subordinate with several options. In the old days. In the helper/receiver relationship. or both—often carried out the supervisor’s prescriptions. how can one hope to counsel a subordinate without injuring his or her self-esteem. Present Options If most people react defensively when they are threatened. their actions.Change Your Perceptions To simplify this problem of role conflict. the supervisor could tell the receiver what was best for him or her without any interaction or without considering the subordinate’s needs. possibly. the supervisor must know as much as possible about the subordinate’s personality. The process is known as maximizing alternatives. and (3) in most cases. the more negative his or her reaction will be to counseling efforts.

does not mean that you must agree with or support his or her position. 3. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 153 . here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of the helper/receiver relationship: 1. because it is his or her decision and he or she is responsible for the outcome. Research in this area indicates that people may have a certain tolerance level for accepting unfavorable feedback. Be prepared to listen. You must understand the subordinate’s point of view before you can begin to jointly explore alternatives. because of your experience as a supervisor. Give timely feedback. Direct your comments to behavior that the subordinate can change. to get trapped in a prescribing or lecturing role. Feedback is most helpful to a subordinate when it is given at the earliest opportunity after an event or interaction has occurred. better peer relations. But a “know-it-all” position may threaten the receiver so much that he or she mentally leaves the scene or acts more defensively than he or she would if you were more receptive. The subordinate will try to preserve his or her self-concept by meeting your arguments with resistance. however. 2. This may include joint goal-setting. Don’t argue. increased promptness. the helper has taken a positive step toward solving the problem or getting the subordinate to modify his or her behavior. no further learning takes place. There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. When this level is approached or surpassed. then there is a foundation for beginning to explore the kinds of actions you can both take. Understanding a subordinate’s point of view. If the supervisor has tried to help the receiver explore alternatives and arrive at a personal decision. Let the subordinate do more than half the talking. For this reason. you only increase their feelings of frustration and their need to defend themselves. you should give feedback often and in small The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. If the helper can get the receiver to understand and explore the various courses of action available. The receiver will be much more likely to carry out a course of action that he or she has identified. 2nd Edition. If you increase your argumentative position or continue to “pound away” at the person. or greater efficiency in performing the job. you will achieve even more resistance and denial.If both people in the helping relationship agree that there is a problem and that the receiver’s behavior is unacceptable. It may be easy for you. COUNSELING GUIDELINES If you want to be a more effective counselor. By giving people unfavorable feedback about actions over which they have little or no control. he or she can be more certain that the counseling will achieve the desired change. 4. The key to effective counseling is giving the receiver the freedom to choose the course of action that he or she feels is best under the circumstances. The helper can do his or her part by using the counseling relationship to let the receiver know exactly what is expected.

the subordinate can continue to talk about them. 2nd Edition. They are human beings with feelings. your task as a counselor is almost complete. . Once a subordinate assumes responsibility for overcoming his or her own shortcomings. past facts are far less important than present feelings and attitudes. It may even hinder his or her growth. (1973. 23-24. 5. and excuses.” “I see. 154 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Psychology Today. Be on the lookout for signals that the subordinate is willing to commit to change or ownership in the outcome of the helper/receiver relationship. . once-a-year performance review with a subordinate will not help the subordinate to develop on the job. 8. F.?. Frequent use of “Uh-huh. Feedback that is limited to a comprehensive.” and “Is that so?” will help bounce the conversational ball back over the net and give the subordinate a chance to elaborate. The skillful counselor should avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. pp. 6. February). REFERENCE Fiedler. the worker will be better able to find his or her own solution. Ask skilled questions. When the supervisor bounces back the feelings that the subordinate gives off. If you can focus on reflecting back the feelings and attitudes of the worker instead of giving advice. . Reflect the feelings of the worker. needs. Look at subordinates as subjects. and values of their own.E. Because the purpose of the session is to solve a problem.” you give the worker a better chance to let his or her feelings and attitudes emerge along with a multitude of irrelevant facts. not as objects that make up your personnel resource. details. Small changes effected over a long period of time will be better for the subordinate and better for you. 7. The trouble with leadership training is that it doesn’t train leaders.quantities. Try to see the world from their points of view. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .?” or “What do you think about . By starting questions with “How do you feel about . .

” If these can be developed efficiently—to have high market share and high market growth—they become “stars. 2nd Edition. A PERFORMANCE-ANALYSIS MODEL An innovative way of describing the degrees of effectiveness of people in organizations can be extrapolated from the now classic. product-analysis model of the Boston Consulting Group. Issues around incompetence abound in virtually every organization. A product that is low in both existing market share and potential for market growth is called a “dog. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 155 . these are the “problem children. they are divested. One way for consultants to build credibility. San Diego. and employee performance is—or should be—a bottomline concern in all of them. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. obviously. Products that are low in market growth but high in market share are called “cash cows”. Products that are low in market share but that have growth potential need to be developed. The market-share axis indicates from low to high the amount of the market share commanded by the particular product being analyzed. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. William Pfeiffer A continual challenge for both internal and external consultants is to assist managers in dealing with the poor performance of subordinates. Many consultants are surprised at the frequency with which managers voice their concerns about the issue of productivity and performance. ailing dog is put it out of its misery.” and what one does with an old. termination of that employee is the most appropriate solution.andtermination are made. is to address these concerns and to actively explore the topic and its implications for managers. then.). promotion. one milks these. This two-dimensional model (Figure 1) evaluates products in terms of their market share and their potential for market growth.„‚ ENCOURAGING MANAGERS TO DEAL WITH MARGINAL EMPLOYEES J.” If not. We can assist management in realizing that if the substandard performance of an employee cannot be corrected in a cost-efficient manner. In this area. The market-growth axis indicates the potential for product growth in terms of future sales. Internal and external consultants are in a unique position in organizational life and frequently are able to influence the processes by which management decisions regarding hiring. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. The analogy is Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. dropped. we can be especially helpful to our clients—the organizations in which we consult—in helping the them to identify and deal with marginal employees. Marketing energy is best put into shining the stars. Goodstein (Eds.

Odiorne describes people who are low in performance and low in potential as “deadwood.” These are the people who get jobs done in organizations.” Finally. from low to high. and the potential of the individual.Figure 1. the man who popularized management by objectives. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Employee-Performance-Analysis Model Developed by George Odiorne 156 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” P e r f o r m a n c e WORKHORSE DEADWOOD Potential Figure 2.” Those who are high in performance but low to moderate in potential are called “workhorses. The two dimensions in Odiorne’s model (Figure 2) are the performance of the individual. George Odiorne. has creatively extended the product-analysis model to describe employee performance. but it does get the point across. 2nd Edition. from low to high. Product-Analysis Model Developed by the Boston Consulting Group weak in places and it reflects the way that marketing people talk. those who are high in both performance and potential are the “stars. Those people who are high in potential and relatively low in performance are again called “problem children.

........ there is a large group of people who are consistently below average in performance and who vary greatly in terms of potential............... 2nd Edition.................. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 157 ..... . the stars probably do not account for a quarter of the working population either—perhaps for one-sixteenth of it. ..................................... we can substitute the word “productivity” for performance.  ....    .................. ................................. but for approximately one-sixteenth (see Figure 3)................  .. .....  ........... In the last few years...... with the tight economy.......         . ........... In the same vein......... ..............     . .............. ........ and different strategies are called for with each of these..         .................The implications of and remedies for these classifications are analogous to those in the marketing model....         .................. ... . They number about three-sixteenths of the employee population.         ........ .... ..    .............. ........... They form approximately one-fourth of the employee population.... Thus..... ................ ... these people probably do not account for one quarter of the employee population... ...... ..... .    ..... To take this performance-analysis model a step further.. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. .. ................................. The workhorses—the people who keep organizations moving— probably compose almost half the work force... . .. ... as the matrix model would imply.......... Productivity-Potential Matrix Profile ......... These are the “marginal” employees. .......... .......................................... People who are high in potential and low in productivity can be described as either “problem children” or “trainees” in this extension of the model.........    ... .....    ........ ...  ............. Finally........   ................. ... organizations have laid off or otherwise divested themselves of a lot of the people who were low in both potential and productivity—the deadwood.................... .. Figure 3. ... .....

If the organization has an alternative job available. Most of the questions brought to the human resource consultant in an organization are related to efforts to bring marginal employees up to standard. it is doubtful that anything will remedy the situation other than removing the person from the particular job. they quickly realize that it is not a good idea to spend good money after bad. consultants find managers at all levels putting time and energy into working with the wrong people—those who do not perform consistently. For a variety of reasons. In most cases. This does not sound like a “nice” thing to say. If people think that they “should” or are expected to do something. Obviously. they often do it. there is an appropriate place to stop. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . but still may not be able to produce the results that are needed in order for the organization to meet its goals. It is unfeasible to search continually for the unique blend of insight and ability that might be able to make a workhorse out of a marginal employee. Another trap into which many managers fall is that of collusion. they scrap the design. managers have tended to be ineffective in dealing with most aspects of substandard performance. If the ship does not float. The fallacy in this attitude is believing that the method of approach makes the difference. The people with potential are going to provide a return to the organization for its investment in the development effort. A common reason for this ineffective management practice is the “savior syndrome”—the belief of managers that they can make a difference where others have failed. 2nd Edition. pretending that everybody has potential if they can just find the right way to tap it. an inordinate amount of time is spent in trying to “develop” these people. even against their better judgment. and scarce management resources are expended in the wrong place. because if you tell most senior managers that they have made a bad investment with respect to capital outlay. the individual is simply not capable of performing at the level that is required by the job for which he or she was hired. so people develop the habit of colluding. “Developing” employees has become such a value in many organizations that many managers (and trainers) have lost sight of several facts: 1. In any task. 2. however. This seems peculiar. Yet over and over again. may be committed to the task. 158 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 3. the situation is not usually so tidy. and if the role match—rather than the individual—is the source of the problem. and may expend effort at the task. Unfortunately. Obviously. the solution may be obvious. Again. people are not simply competent or incompetent but are to some degree competent (or incompetent) to do a specific task or array of tasks. some people simply cannot be developed to fit into the jobs that happen to be available in the organization. Someone who does not perform well in a particular job (array of tasks) may still be capable of doing well in a different job.MANAGERS AND THE MARGINAL EMPLOYEE A marginal employee may have the proper training. In most cases.

First of all. many managers do not have the skills to feel comfortable in doing these things or to do them effectively. In many organizations. That is the goal of most management and training efforts. they know it and. then. or provide constructive discipline. Furthermore. Secondly. The OD Sequence It is premature to attempt to deal with issues of individual competence until: s roles have been adequately clarified The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The easiest tactic is to simply ignore the situation and hope that it will take care of itself. 2nd Edition. It is difficult to terminate an employee. and the realistic probability that the situation will improve in most cases is low to nonexistent.” “What is the impact of this effort on the other aspects of your job and the other employees in your work unit?. and to the organization to keep people in marginal roles. “How much time and effort has this required?. Managers need to realize that the humane thing to do is to confront marginality. their peers stop trying to train them. although it takes some energy to do it. while expecting other people in the organization to either take up the slack or to continue to work at their maximum potential despite the obvious discrepancies. marginal employees are given average salary increases and average performance appraisals and are then shuffled from one work group to another. worse. After a while. the consultant can begin to take the manager through a sequence of steps that will help to determine the sources of marginal performance in an organization and what the manager can do about them. THE ROLE OF THE CONSULTANT The most difficult role of the consultant—and yet the most crucial—is to help managers to realize that their job is to benefit the organization. for whatever reasons.Another reason that managers do not deal effectively with marginal employees is that most people tend to avoid conflict. transfer someone to another job. One tactic is to ask “How many times have you actually been successful?” and. or “cover” for them. In the final analysis. because these peers have their own jobs to worry about. or even support them. Once managerial behavior has been “unfrozen” in this regard. and that it is truly more humane to do this than to let people limp along in jobs that they are not able to do. managers must be helped to examine their past efforts to deal with the people who. Obviously. their peers know it. not to “save” people. and that their peers know that they are not able to do. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 159 . it does long-term damage to individuals. are simply not capable of producing what is required in the jobs they hold. to the work group. managers must be reminded that what benefits the organization is increased productivity.” and “Is this really an effective way to utilize your work time and energy?” When people are allowed to stay in jobs in which they are performing marginally. none of these practices is of optimum benefit to the organization.

it is likely that the manager actually is dealing with a marginal employee. and consistent action to maintain them. If these requirements are met. Does the individual know that he or she is performing marginally? An incredible number of times. the sharing of information concerning these standards. and if the structure in which he or she is supposed to perform tasks is not appropriate to the tasks or to the goals that are to be met. There are then several questions that the consultant should ask.s s in the context of an appropriate structure to meet obtainable organizational goals. The message for the manager is “document it!” An initial interview with the employee may reveal a problem in the employee’s private life or a work-related problem that may or may not be amenable to adjustment. Of course. but it is likely that very few of them actually have been confronted with their performance deficiencies. the organization’s legal counsel should be consulted if termination is likely to be deemed appropriate. the issue of individual employee competence is best dealt with through the development of realistic standards of competence for specific jobs. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . One is that the description of the performance deficit should be behaviorally and quantifiably based. As any professional consultant knows. If the total rating for an individual is below nine points. Whatever the manager’s perception of the cause of the performance deficit. and making sure that the organization’s goals are clear and that the work tasks and the structure support and contribute to the achievement of those goals.” Assuming that a manager has identified a subordinate who meets the definition provided earlier of a “marginal” employee. but a few basic guidelines can be offered here. It is imperative that the employee be informed of the reasons for the manager’s dissatisfaction with his or her work.” or “not up to standard. providing the appropriate structure to accomplish the work. 160 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and it may take some time and effort for the manager to answer each of them completely. numerous organizational problems can be solved by adequately defining roles and responsibilities. it may be helpful to have the manager assess the employee along the dimensions shown in Figure 4. If what a person is supposed to be doing in an organization is vague or inaccurate. the employee has not been advised of his or her poor performance or of the possible consequences of that level of performance. some may even have been promoted over the course of time. Many of these people have been transferred from one job to another. it should be documented in a letter or memorandum to the employee following the interview. 2nd Edition. the issue of the person’s competence is a symptom rather than a problem. A second is that the employee should be allowed a specific amount of time in which to show improvement in job performance (and may be asked to sign a statement confirming that he or she understands and agrees to this probationary period). 1. Managers must be clear about what they mean when they describe someone’s job performance as “unsatisfactory.” “lacking in quality.

staying late. How well does the individual currently accomplish the responsibility of being task competent in his or her present job? Competent 3 Management Effort 2. Another expectation is that commitment will be rewarded. 3. for working long. “management really does not care if workers produce. Managers can be helped to view human resources just as they view other necessary. If a person has the training. exhibiting loyalty and dedication. hard hours. even worse. “not making waves. perhaps limited. although a major focus in most organizations is on the bottom line. How much management effort does it take to enable the individual to function at his or her most effective level? More Than Average Effort 1 2 Average Effort 3 4 Less Than Average Effort 5 Effect on the System 3. education. but adjustable aspects of the organizational system.” and “fitting in” will result in pay increases and promotions.Name of Employee Name of Manager Circle the appropriate response for each of the following questions: Marginally Competent 1 2 Very Competent 4 5 Competence 1.” In addition. Job-Fit Evaluation Form 2.S. In what way does the individual’s behavior (verbal and nonverbal) impact the system? Negatively 1 2 Neither Consistently Positive or Negative 3 4 Positively 5 Figure 4. he or she expects to be rewarded for having achieved that level of expertise. the positive—or negative—balance aspect of existing “human resources” simply may never have been perceived as a quantifiable item. or experience required to do a job. that is. A third is the expectation of reward for effort. and working through the lunch hour or The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The message that flows through the organizational culture can easily be interpreted as “management really does not know who produces” or. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 161 . What is the organization doing to reward productivity and discourage marginal performance? People in U. what are the norms of the organizational culture? It is important to emphasize the negative impact on coworkers when less productive employees are treated the same way as their more productive counterparts. coming in early.” The consultant can help managers to realize that confronting substandard productivity has the potential to send a positive message into the system: “Management knows what is happening and it is concerned about productivity. organizations typically have come to believe that they should be rewarded for competence. How has the manager or organization justified the retention of marginal employees? In this respect. 2nd Edition.

and results. Figure 6. people are rewarded for competence. 162 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. effort.on the weekend. unless the organization supports a results-oriented approach to employee productivity and rewards. in some array (see Figure 5). Both internal and external human resource consultants will be called on to provide managers with the insights and skills they need to minimize the human and financial drain that is created by people in the organization who are not capable of fulfilling the role requirements of the positions they hold. However. the censure or dismissal of an employee who is widely known to be a substandard producer will send a message throughout the system that incompetence will not be tolerated. Results-Oriented Reward System The role of the consultant may be limited here. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . even at the managerial level. managers increasingly will be required to justify or deal with the marginal employees for whom they are accountable. 2nd Edition. CONCLUSION As more and more organizations become concerned with productivity and the need to reexamine their utilization of human resources. Finally. commitment. there is the expectation that results will be rewarded. Traditional Employee Expectations However. In many cases. Figure 5. In the traditional organization. the consultant can help to focus individual efforts to clarify expectations about what level of performance is expected and what will generate additional rewards. experience seems to show that organizations that are excellent in terms of productivity and in terms of growing and nurturing people are organizations in which a primary basis for rewards is positive results—performance (see Figure 6).

A positive impact was not necessarily related to the lack of a negative impact. political. Reprinted by permission of Kent Publishing Company. In the study. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1986). Montreal was selected as the location for the study because it has the largest English-speaking population in the predominantly French Canadian province of Quebec. Very often. this time. 1983d). yet assumed their findings to be universally true. Adler Bhinneka Tunggal Ika “Unity through diversity” (National motto of Indonesia) PEOPLE DO NOT PERCEIVE CULTURAL IMPACT Neither managers nor academics generally think of culture as affecting an organization’s day-to-day operations. In the follow-up to the Montreal OD study (Adler. 1983d). of cultural diversity on their organizations and jobs.). the questionnaire asked for both the positive and negative impacts of culture. Goodstein (Eds. Originally published in The 1986 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. only one consultant saw it as positive. good managers perceive themselves as beyond passport and good organizations as beyond nationality. and economic environment of Quebec. International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (Boston: Kent Publishing Company. American researchers conducted the vast majority of the studies in the United States. It is interesting that. © 1986 by Wadsworth. although media reports daily attest to the impact of bilingualism and biculturalism on the social. In 1983. a division of Wadsworth. sixty organization development (OD) consultants described the impact. the author conducted a study to determine the impact of cultural diversity on organizations (Adler. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. Two-thirds said they saw no impact. 1983b) reveals that fewer than 5 percent of the articles refer to either international or domestic multiculturalism. 2nd Edition. A survey of management research published in twenty-four academic and professional journals (Adler. Inc. good or bad. Adler. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. 76-98. seventy-five Canadian OD consultants described the impact of culture on their organizations. The majority of the questionnaire respondents did report an impact of cultural diversity on their organizations. Inc. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 163 . pp. Of the one-third who experienced an impact. and almost half saw the potential for the impact to be positive.„‚ CULTURAL SYNERGY: MANAGING THE IMPACT OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY Nancy J. San Diego. However. the majority of the surveyed consultants perceived no influence on the world of work. Adapted from: Nancy J. and the respondents also reported the possibility of the impact of cultural diversity being neither positive nor negative.

However. It is judgment. International executives attending management seminars in France were asked to list the advantages and disadvantages of cultural diversity to their organizations (Laurent & Adler. In the first Montreal study described earlier (Adler. or ethnocentric. They label managers who recognize the diversity within organizations as prejudiced. 19811983). and that difference affects their relationship to the organization (recognition). Similarly. 1979). managers saw their foreign colleagues as more similar to themselves than they actually were. and ethnicity—to evaluate people according to their professional skills only. sexist. Although every executive could list disadvantages. racist. Many people associate cultural recognition with simplistic. People from different cultural groups behave differently. 1980. Although people are not the same. Cultural diversity does exist and affects the ways in which we operate within the organization (Hofstede. We neither “see” nor “want to see” differences. and ethnocentric attitudes and behaviors. racist. they are simply different. 164 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. that is. 1983a) found it easier to identify the problems that diversity causes than to suggest the benefits it creates. less than a third (30 percent) could list an advantage. In every paired combination of the fourteen countries. 1983d). encourage managers to blind themselves to gender. race. to minimize the problems it causes while maximizing the advantages it allows. DIVERSITY CAUSES PROBLEMS Cultural diversity generally is perceived as a source of problems. In a fascinating study (Burger & Bass. Cultural norms. managers from fourteen countries described the work and career goals of their foreign colleagues. Not recognizing cultural differences is unproductive. Choosing not to see cultural diversity limits our ability to manage it. 1983). only one of the sixty OD consultants mentioned an advantage to the organization from cultural diversity. sexist. 2nd Edition. not recognition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . we perceive them to be the same—to have the same needs and aspirations. any form of effective cross-cultural management must start with a concerted effort to recognize cultural diversity without judging it—to perceive difference where difference exists. the fifty-two corporate and academic experts participating in the 1981 McGill International Symposium on Cross-Cultural Management (Adler. of cultural differences that leads to inappropriate.The two parts of the study differed in that the original interviewees were provided with neither the idea of cultural diversity nor a model of its possible positive and negative impacts. primitive thinking. This approach causes problems because it confuses recognition with judgment. especially in North America. whereas the questionnaire respondents were provided with both. Cultural blindness is therefore both perceptual and conceptual. People from one ethnic group are not inherently better or worse than those from another group (judgment). Laurent. It appears that managers can perceive the impact of culture and its positive and negative potentials once they are alerted to the concept but tend not to be aware of it otherwise.

difficulty in reaching agreement on specific actions Culture-Specific Advantages: Better understanding of foreign employees Ability to work more effectively with foreign clients Ability to market more effectively to foreign customers Increased understanding of political. economic. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 165 . difficulty in reaching agreement Difficulty in reaching converging actions. legal. In another situation: In line with the American parent company’s policies. the settlement of a licensing agreement between a Japanese company and a Swiss company “became much more difficult due to: big differences in the decision-making and legal systems between the two countries. and the need for consultation with work councils and trade unions prior to reaching an agreement imposed limitations on the scope of information available. People from different cultures fail to understand one another. Spain. Despite good procedures from the American parent company. Holland.As shown in Figure 1. Germany. Personnel managers from the United Kingdom. and cultural environment of foreign countries Culture-Specific Disadvantages: Overgeneralization in organizational policies. the The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1981-1983). cultural concerns. these difficulties would not exist or could easily be overcome” (Laurent & Adler. For example. They do not work in the same ways nor at the same pace. Luxembourg. and procedures Ethnocentrism Figure 1. the long distances. In a domestic setting. complexity. Thus. European subsidiaries attempted to design a common system for developing historical medical data on all employees. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cultural Diversity This problem also can arise when culturally diverse organizations attempt to do business with one another. Sweden. complexity. miscommunication. and Italy convened a meeting to agree on how and what could be accomplished. 2nd Edition. the potential for increased ambiguity. Communication (converging on similar meanings) and integration (converging on similar actions) become more difficult. and confusion becomes greatest when the organization or project requires clarity and convergence of direction. In one’s own country. and confusion Difficulty in reaching converging meanings. the inability of the Swiss to understand the Japanese language. and the lack of spontaneity. practices. social. limitations imposed by the variety of national legislation. ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Culturally Synergistic Advantages: Expanding meanings: multiple perspectives greater openness to new ideas multiple interpretations Expanding alternatives: increased creativity increased flexibility increased problem-solving skills Disadvantages of Cultural Diversity: Increased ambiguity. problems created by cultural diversity most frequently occur in convergent processes and at times when the organization needs employees to think or act in similar ways.

planning a new operation.variety of constraints would be reduced and (those remaining) clearly understood by all persons involved in developing the system. range of ideas.. New-product development. Diversity becomes an advantage in starting a new project. the advantages of diversity include enhanced creativity. when the organization wants to expand its perspective. operations. e. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . For example. 1983). creating a new idea. When a British team went to Korea to design the Pony automobile. 2nd Edition. A U. 1981-1983) described the following examples of treating cultural diversity as a resource rather than as a problem. The system would have been developed much more quickly (Laurent & Adler. By involving all countries in defining the “where. developing a new marketing plan. research conducted in conjunction with the U.-based National Cancer Institute. 2. The multiple perspectives brought to problem solving increase the chances of avoiding “group think. This is especially true of complex problems involving large numbers of qualitative factors (Hayles. or marketing strategies. The firm used its regular label showing a baby and stating the type of baby food in the jar. it found that the Koreans had to break the ice on their water before they could wash their products.S. it leads to the most advantages in divergent processes. or assessing trends from a new perspective. American and British workers found the lower thermostat settings to be restrictive. pharmaceutical firm developed a new anticancer drug based on an initial discovery made in its Italian subsidiary.” “how. 1981-1983). 1972) and in working with culturally distinct client groups. 1. For example. one multinational firm tried to sell baby food in an African nation without adapting the marketing strategies developed for Western countries to the African culture.” Overall. New ideas that seem threatening or absurd when mentioned by someone from one’s own country may be easier to “hear” when suggested by foreigners. new therapy indications from Japan and China. International managers attending executive programs in France (Laurent & Adler. Problems also result when organizations overgeneralize acceptance of practices and processes. and major funding from Germany and the United States. product line. Ziller. of course.g. flexibility. the local population was accustomed to visual representation and interpreted the labels to mean that the jars contained ground-up babies! Sales. 3. DIVERSITY ALSO PROVIDES ADVANTAGES Although cultural diversity causes the most problems in convergent processes. were terrible (Ricks. 1982. Recognition of the need for communication and cooperation. and problem-solving skills. Thereafter. Unfortunately. Acceptance of new ideas. new techniques from Sweden. A European firm created a technical and field support center with the involvement of all its European subsidiaries. during the energy crisis.S.” and “why” of 166 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. approach. the low thermostat settings at home no longer seemed so restrictive.

but neither is inherently superior to the other. STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CULTURAL DIVERSITY The extent to which managers recognize cultural diversity and its potential advantages and disadvantages affects the organization’s approach to managing that diversity. This strategy precludes the possibility of minimizing negative impacts and enhancing positive impacts. New perspectives.” Members of synergistic organizations believe that the combination of various approaches is best. Ethnocentric organizations also preclude the possibility of benefiting from diversity. had caused continual conflicts among them. These various perceptions and assumptions have different implications for organizations’ approaches to managing diversity. Ethnocentric organizations assume that the only impacts of culture are negative. They can implement this strategy by attempting to select a culturally homogeneous work force or by attempting to socialize all workers into the behavioral patterns of the dominant culture. An American/French partnership required an outside audit of its Algerian subsidiary. As shown in Table 1. They also manage the impacts to increase the potential advantages. Only in those cases in which organizational members explicitly recognize the concept of culture can the response to cultural diversity be synergistic—leading to both advantages and disadvantages. Parochial organizations assume the impact of culture to be negligible. The American partner unsuccessfully proposed an American firm. The second most common response is ethnocentric—recognizing diversity but viewing it only as causing problems. their selected strategy is to ignore cultural diversity. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 167 . the center avoided the one-nation dictatorial decisions that. In parochial organizations. They train their members to recognize cultural differences and to use them to create advantages for the organization. the French partner proposed a French firm. Because members see others’ ways as inferior. the members believe that “our way and their way differ. their strategy is to minimize cultural diversity. Similarly. The two finally agreed on a French-affiliated office of an American accounting firm that agreed to assign two French-speaking British citizens to do the job. they view differences as causing the organization’s problems. members believe that “our way is the best way” to organize and work. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. neutrality. in the past. organizational members’ most common response to cultural diversity is parochial—perceiving neither cultural diversity nor its impact on the organization.operations. their strategy is to minimize potential problems by managing the impacts of cultural diversity rather than the diversity itself. members believe that “our way is the only way” to organize and manage. Synergistic organizations view cultural diversity as having both positive and negative possibilities. In ethnocentric organizations. In synergistic organizations. 2nd Edition. 4.

Very uncommon The first two strategies. Potential negative and positive impacts: Cultural diversity can simultaneously lead to problems and advantages for the organization. Strategy for Managing the Impact of Cultural Diversity Ignore differences: Ignore the impact of cultural diversity on the organization. ignoring and minimizing cultural differences. Very common Ethnocentric: Our way is the best way. 349-365. Most Likely Outcomes of Strategy Frequency of Perception and Strategy Parochial: Our way is the only way. Common Synergistic: The combination of our way and their ways may be the best way. 19(3). therefore. The approach to diversity. Negative impact: Cultural diversity will cause problems for the organization. problems will be attributed to culture. If possible. pp. determines the actual positive and negative outcomes.Table 1. Summer 1983. quite common. “Organizational Development in a Multicultural Environment. some problems will continue to occur and will need to be managed. 1 168 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Organizational Strategies for Managing Cultural Diversity1 Type of Organization Perceived Impact of Cultural Diversity on Organization No impact: Cultural diversity has no recognized impact on the organization. not the diversity itself. occur naturally and are. Adler. Source: Nancy J. Some problems and many advantages: Advantages to the organization will be realized and recognized.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Problems: Problems will occur but they will not be attributed to culture. Manage differences: Train organizational members to recognize cultural differences and use them to create advantages for the organization. Minimize differences: Minimize the sources and impact of cultural diversity on the organization. Only when members of an organization recognize both its cultural diversity and its potential positive impact is it likely that the organization will attempt to manage the diversity. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Some problems and few advantages: Problems will be reduced as diversity is decreased while the possibility of creating advantages will be ignored or eliminated. select a monocultural work force.

The best way depends on the culture of the people involved. . Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 169 . the cultural patterns of individual organizational members and clients. Culturally synergistic organizations create new forms of management and organization that transcend the individual cultures of their members (Adler. Moran and Harris (1981) emphasize that “the very differences in the world’s people can lead to mutual growth and accomplishment that is more than the single contribution of each party to the intercultural transaction. that many equivalent ways (“equi”) to reach a final goal (“finality”) exist and that no one culture’s way is inherently superior. although most people tend to be ethnocentric. cultural interpretation. .” Cultural synergy requires organizational policies and practices based on. 1983c). is homogeneity—the belief that all people are basically the same—cultural synergy assumes heterogeneity—the belief that many different cultural groups exist within society and that each maintains its distinctiveness. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. but not limited to. and we must work instead from whole to particular. synergy involves “a new way of thinking . Finally. . and cultural creativity (Adler. 1981-1983) indicated that 83 percent preferred the synergistic approach. the synergistic approach assumes cultural contingency—that there are many equally good ways to reach a goal.” In their book Managing Cultural Synergy. Although the most common organizational assumption. Secondly. A survey of 145 executives from around the world (Laurent & Adler. whereas a common assumption is that the similarities among people are most important. 2nd Edition. Cultural synergy assumes equifinality. Several assumptions underlie the synergistic approach (Adler. In order to really understand what is going on. . equally good ways of living and working exist. yet only 33 percent said that their organizations currently used a synergistic approach to multinational and multicultural problem solving. we have to abandon starting with parts. cultural synergy assumes that similarities and differences are of equal importance. the process of developing culturally synergistic solutions to organizational problems involves description of the situation.” Synergy is “the behavior of whole systems that cannot be predicted by the behavior of any parts taken separately . 1980). . 1980).CULTURAL SYNERGY According to Buckminster Fuller (1981). which helps to free one from outdated patterns and can break the shell of permitted ignorance. that is. based on the “melting pot” myth. Cultural synergy refutes the parochial “our way” approach and assumes that many. Culturally Synergistic Problem Solving As is shown in Figure 2.

Adler (1980). In one example (Adler.). . 2 170 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . CA: Pfeiffer & Company.” To the American manager.” In W. Across cultures.’ I expect my employees to come to me when they have problems. to the Japanese sales representative. 163-184. until it’s too late to do anything. Warner Burke and Leonard D. “Cultural Synergy: The Management of Cross-Cultural Organizations. pp. the Japanese salesman replied that “Americans see everything as a problem!” In analyzing the Adapted from Nancy J. Goodstein (Eds. an American sales manager conveyed the following concern: “I’m an ‘open-door manager. When questioned later about his behavior. But these Japanese never come to you until it’s a crisis . the “problem” had begun weeks earlier. 1980). 2nd Edition. Trends and Issues in OD: Current Theory and Practice. Culturally Synergistic Problem Solving2 Step 1: Description of the Situation This is one of the most difficult and critical steps in finding solutions to complex problems.Figure 2. . the situation became a “problem” only that morning. divergent values and perceptions magnify the difficulty of problem definition. San Diego.

“I thought that you were my friend. However. the American realized the importance that Iranians place on friendship relative to task accomplishment. This step. feelings. Step 3: Cultural Creativity Organizations can help people from different cultures to enhance their productivity and job satisfaction. whereas non-Westerners frequently view life as a series of situations to be accepted (Stewart. but should transcend the behavioral patterns of each. People from one culture can contribute to people from another culture.situation. an American engineer who was teaching Iranians to use a complex machine was disappointed in the achievement of his trainees and gave them poor reviews. For example. why don’t you give me a better review?” The American was furious. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 171 . after entertaining his Canadian guest. and actions. and the trainee became aware that Americans base their system of equity on competence rather than on relationship (Stewart. it should not imitate any particular culture’s assumptions. an Egyptian executive. it became clear that Westerners often see life as a series of problems to be resolved. 2nd Edition. The Egyptians never arrived. delighted with the offer. without interpretation or evaluation from any one culture’s point of view. One trainee came to the American and said. At issue was the perceived meaning of inviting lawyers. Americans define situations as problems much earlier than do the Japanese. suggested that they meet again the next morning (along with their lawyers) to fill in the details. Step 2: Cultural Interpretation Once organizational members recognize a problem. in analyzing and interpreting the underlying cultural assumptions. offered joint partnership in a business venture. The Canadian saw the lawyers’ presence as facilitating the successful completion of the negotiation. The following example illustrates this process. The situation then must be described from each culture’s perspective. Later. This approach assumes that behavior is rational from the perspective of the person behaving but that cultural biases lead us to misunderstand the logic of another culture’s behavioral patterns (Adler. the Egyptian interpreted it as signaling the Canadian’s mistrust of his verbal commitment. In another situation (Adler. Egyptians frequently rely on a personal relationship developed between bargaining partners. Selection of the best alternative becomes possible when preceded by adequate description and interpretation. Multiple perspectives enhance understanding and options. involves role reversal: the members of each culture must assume the roles of people from the other cultures. and the organization must discover what each can contribute and develop plans that are compatible with the cultural assumptions of all groups. the synergistic approach is to analyze it from each culture’s perspective and to identify and interpret similarities and differences in thoughts. Thus. The first step in the process of cultural synergy involves recognizing that a conflict situation exists—even when the problem does not make sense from one’s own cultural perspective. 1979). 1979). The Canadian. 1980). therefore. 1980).

she was a woman. the hospital administrator suggested a culturally synergistic solution. American customers usually would “understand and forgive” these delays if provided with an adequate explanation. The Japanese sales representatives often refused to promise delivery times until the plane had arrived on the runway or they could be certain that their promises would be kept. the nurse continued to administer the treatment improperly. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . whereas Japanese customers expected the company to keep its promises and lost faith in the company when it did not. Implementation Organizations must plan the implementation of synergistic solutions carefully. the doctor realized that many Filipinos will not contradict people in respected positions. not being asked directly if she understood. however. She said she did. causing him to lose face.-based air freight company with extensive Asian operations generally promised customers specific dates and hours for arrivals of freight shipments. and she again affirmed her understanding of the procedure. After giving his instructions. he could assess the accuracy of the nurse’s understanding and identify what needed to be explained further. Interpretation: In analyzing the situation. expected the nurse to ask questions if she did not understand his instructions. However. The doctor. she could not tell the doctor that she did not understand without implying that he had given poor instructions. The nurse. they must develop cultural self-awareness as well as an understanding of the other cultures’ assumptions and perspectives. Interpretation: The company needed to design a uniform “promising” system that would be culturally appropriate for both American and Japanese employees and clients. she was a nurse. As the doctor listened. would not be forced to say “no” to a superior. To the nurse. He instructed the nurse on the proper procedure and asked if she understood. she was younger. the doctor’s status was clearly above hers: he was a man. Without this twofold understanding. The following describes a synergistic scheduling plan implemented by an American air freight company for its routes between Japan and the United States. the promises to customers had to conform to reality sufficiently so that no one would lose face. 172 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. He considered it a sign of incompetence to assume responsibility for a patient’s care without understanding the manner of treatment. Two hours later the patient was doing poorly. he was older. 2nd Edition. Before organizational members will understand the need for changes. the shipments often arrived late.S. the system had to be definite enough to develop credibility with customers.Problem Situation: A Uruguayan doctor at a major California hospital became concerned when he realized that a Filipino nurse was using a particular machine improperly for patient treatment. proposed changes often appear absurd. Problem Situation: American sales representatives of a U. The doctor again queried the nurse. Synergistic Solution: After considering the situation. he was a doctor. From the Japanese perspective. Based on her cultural assumptions. From the American perspective. the doctor was to ask the nurse to describe the procedure that she would follow.

N. rather than at specific times. they can introduce it gradually as the need for cross-cultural problem solving becomes evident. 13(1-2).W. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 173 .D. 226-232. The learning acquired during the initial stages becomes a part of the organization’s increasing perspective and skills. 8(2). more informal. Cultural synergy: The management of cross-cultural organizations. 7-45. organizations can begin to address their culturally based conflict situations. Most organizations find it helpful to begin the process with cross-cultural communication workshops in which employees have the opportunity to become more culturally self-aware and more crossculturally aware. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. line managers and human resource professionals are involved in the process of managing change. Cross-cultural management: Issues to be faced. Spring-Summer). Following these communication workshops. Goodstein (Eds.” rather than at 2:03 p. (1983a. April). For instance. Although initial problems must be addressed explicitly.). formally (workshops and seminars). Synergistic solutions create new forms of management and organization by recognizing and transcending the individual. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.m. The approach allows organizations to solve problems effectively in cross-cultural environments. The synergistic approach will become increasingly more necessary if businesses and organizations are to compete successfully in the increasingly multicultural domestic environment and in the world of international business. International Studies of Management and Organization. REFERENCES Adler. Adler. The synergistic approach recognizes both the potential positive and negative impacts of cultural diversity and manages those impacts rather than attempting to eliminate the diversity itself.J. later problem-solving sessions can become more implicit. it will accumulate the knowledge to address future problems. ethnic cultures of employees and clients.Synergistic Solution: After analyzing the cultural dynamics. and less time consuming. Trends and issues in OD: Current theory and practice. The major change is that of perspective. In introducing culturally synergistic problem solving to an organization for the first time. N. and slowly (developing awareness prior to attempting to solve problems).J. 2nd Edition. This solution recognized the values of both cultures without upsetting either’s business practices. San Diego. (1983b. (1980). N. In W. Academy of Management Review. Adler. As the organization addresses problems from a synergistic perspective. they would promise delivery “early Thursday afternoon. Organizations need not implement a synergistic solution all at once. Burke & L. the sales representatives agreed that they should begin promising delivery within a range of time. CONCLUSION Cultural synergy is an approach to managing the impact of cultural diversity. Cross-cultural management research: The ostrich and the trend.J.

Laurent. Adler. A. Eddy (Ed. E. Summer).C. International Studies of Management and Organization. Fontainebleau. Edinburgh. 2nd Edition. Paper presented at the Twentieth International Congress of Applied Psychology. Spring-Summer). Burger. Costs and benefits of integrating persons from diverse cultures into organizations. DC: St. (1983d. Washington. Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Handbook on public organization management.).M. Homogeneity and heterogeneity of group membership. France. New York: Free Press. In C. American cultural patterns: A cross-cultural perspective.J. 349-365. IL: Dow Jones Irwin. 19(3). (1981). New York: Holt. Stewart. (1979). Beverly Hills. Organizational development in a multicultural environment. P. Experimental social psychology. Unpublished survey of participants in seminar on managerial skills for international business.. Ricks. Scotland. Hofstede. Homewood.G. B. (1982. Domestic multiculturalism: Cross-cultural management in the public sector. CA: Sage. R. European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD). & Harris. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . (1983. & Bass. Assessment of managers: An international comparison. TX: Gulf. D.J. Moran. Managing cultural synergy. Cultural synergy survey.R. Martin’s Press/World Future Society. The cultural diversity of western conceptions of management. Hayles. N. Rinehart and Winston.T. New York: Marcel Dekker.. 13(1-2). (1983c).Adler.A. Houston. N. 174 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Big business blunders: Mistakes in multinational marketing.).C. Critical path. R. Yarmouth. (1980). P. In W. ME: Intercultural Press. (1979).B. Ziller..J. R. Fuller. A. (1981). Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. (1981-1983). & Adler. July). R. Laurent. 75-96. N. (1983). G. (1972). McClintock (Ed.

„‚ DELEGATION: A PROCESS AS WELL AS A STRATEGY Alex Lowy and Peter Finestone In this era of increasing specialization. Figure 1. such models distort the sequential nature of delegation. Confirm understanding. a static. Goodstein (Eds. Establish methods of working and reporting. we lose sight of the multifaceted and interrelated nature of managing. the practice of management too often is reduced to a set of “modular” competencies acquired in brief and intense learning sessions. Theories about effective delegation abound. San Diego.” Most often. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. This article presents a process model for delegating that recasts it in real time and recognizes that preparation and follow-through are critical to successful delegation. 2nd Edition. exemplified by such advice as “Do not delegate responsibility without the requisite authority” and “Delegate down to the level of the organization that has to deal with the problem. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 175 . William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. 1. Typical Rules for Successful Delegation Although helpful in framing the act of delegation itself. Describe the task. somewhat abstract activity that requires only the carrying out of certain steps (see Figure 1). Delegation is and always should be an integrated part of a manager’s job. 3.). Discuss resources. 5. delegation is: 1. 4. By pursuing specific skills in isolation. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Outline expected results. Originally published in The 1986 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. 6. 2. Viewed more fully in context. A process that encompasses events occurring over a much wider time frame than that required for the delegation intervention itself. Solicit ideas. delegation is treated as a supervisory skill.

and (c) decisional—activities associated with problem solving and implementation (Mintzberg. Talks with key subordinates may be centered around an important situation. theorists have tried to make the task of managing a more rational.” Most of them have found ways to incorporate planning into their other daily activities. An interpersonal phenomenon both dependent on and enacted through the work units of (a) the delegator and his or her subordinate and (b) the delegator and his or her boss. systematic. The predelegation phase is the responsibility of the manager and primarily is done alone. Mintzberg. 4. The following. 1980. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and disseminating information. job. A system event determined to a great extent by organizational.2. However. and people variables. “dump” assignments on staff members without providing them with sufficient notice to allow them to plan their own work schedules. THE THREE-PHASE MODEL OF DELEGATION Phase 1: The Assessment The predelegation phase is the manager’s opportunity to plan and organize the distribution of work within his or her unit. components of the model are separated into three major parts of the manager’s job: (a) interpersonal—the social. The key questions in this phase are: 176 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. three-phase model illustrates the importance of developing a strategy and following through in the delegation process and offers a guide to managers. it is the quality of this diagnosis and planning that will largely determine the success of delegation. interactional aspects of managing. Beginning with the writing of Weber (1946) and Taylor (1911). (b) informational—receiving. 1973). management theorists have offered us an often contradictory yet rather compelling view of management. Successful managers make the time to develop strategies in those areas in which anticipation and preparation are necessary (McCall & Segrist. interpreting. 1973). an experience that is less predictable and more harried than had previously been realized. In each of the phases described. alternatively. 2nd Edition. A strategy employed by every manager to create the behavioral reality that most suits his or her perceived needs. and efficient undertaking. 3. Most managers have little time for reflection and careful planning because they spend most of their time either in face-to-face encounters or in putting out “fires. Moments between meetings may be spent scribbling thoughts about how to approach an emerging problem. In the past decade. Managers who are too busy to prepare to delegate usually are those who “hoard” unreasonable quantities of work themselves or. This step too often is foregone in the interest of expediency and the solving of today’s pressing problems.

Content Questions 1. Informational 1. Select appropriate employee. 4. The key questions in Phase 2 are: 1. 3. and decisional aspects of the assessment phase. 5. What can/should be delegated? 3. more than anything else. 2. and responsibility will be given along with the work? „‚ 177 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . accountability. Understand limits of delegation. 2. Select work to be delegated. the outcome of a delegated function. How does the employee feel about the work in question? 4. What work needs to be done? 2. Phase 2: The Interaction The interaction phase is the heart of the delegation process. The face-to-face discussion of and assignment of work are central to the process. Understand components of supervisor’s job. Content Questions What work is to be delegated? How can this work be described most clearly? What resources will be made available to the employee? What levels of authority. What is the employee’s current work load and level of performance? Figure 2 outlines the interpersonal. Establish open lines of communication. Clarify job to be done. Determine degree of trust. Interpersonal 1. What is the manager’s relationship with the employee? Is there a problem with communication or trust that needs attention? 3. Phase 1. 4. What is the best approach in delegating to a specific employee? 2. it determines. informational. Consider employee’s ability. 3. What is the best match of work with individual employees’ abilities and interests? Process Questions 1. The extent to which it is managed well will give meaning to the preparatory and follow-up work done in Phases 1 and 3. 2. 2nd Edition. 2. The Assessment Decisional 1. Figure 2. Research system’s demands and expectations.

A manager cannot delegate successfully unless the staff member accepts the work willingly and competently. 4. Be reasonable. Agree on method of work. 5. Is there any information that the manager should provide for the employee’s consideration prior to the meeting? Figure 3 outlines the interpersonal. Define parameters and resources. Informational 1. Establish communication channels through openness. Interpersonal 1. 2. and decisional aspects of the interaction phase. there must be a high degree of clarity in communication and a sense of commitment to what is agreed on. If the manager’s dependence on the employee is to be secure. How much time should be set aside? 5. Obtain feedback from employee. Phase 2. 178 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. How can the manager help to create an atmosphere of trust that will be conducive to better communication? 3. Clarity is needed in describing the tasks being delegated. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and responsibility. Decisional 1. Ensure that employee has accepted (or rejected) the work. reinforce ability. 2. Agree on standards of performance. Agree on nature. 3. This includes trust that the employee will fulfill his or her commitment. 2. which means that the manager should fulfill his or her obligations and then allow the employee to get on with the job. guidelines and resources are clearly understood can the job be accomplished as desired. Decide on degree of delegated authority. Create a climate of trust and respect. the likelihood that understanding and motivation will result is very low. means. The Interaction Because the interaction phase is primarily a communication process. 5. Only when expectations. 2nd Edition. Articulate system expectations. accountability. success depends on both the communication skills of the manager and the employee and the quality of the existing relationship between them. 3. 3. 4. and timing of reporting.Process Questions 1. Develop mutual commitment. Where there is bad feeling or poor communication between manager and employee. What is the manager’s relationship with the employee? What impact might this have on the discussion? 2. What is the best place to hold the interaction discussion? 4. Trust between the manager and employee creates greater openness in the discussion about the tasks in question and the ability and readiness of the employee to accept the assignment. 4. Describe project fully. Discuss hopes and fears. 5. Figure 3. Outline expected outcomes. informational.

2nd Edition.The manager should not assume that the employee understands what is desired simply because he or she asks no questions or raises no objections. sufficient consideration should be given to this question to ensure that authority is not being withheld for the wrong reasons. Contracting between the manager and the employee regarding how and when the work will be completed is the last pillar on which the interaction rests. the manager. This is by creating an “authority gap.” Although it will not always be possible for managers to delegate all the authority desired by employees. in this case.” withholding an unreasonable portion of authority from the employee even when it is needed to accomplish a given task. The Authority Gap There is one way in which many managers undermine their desired outcomes. authority should. The Authority Gap Rectangle A reflects a healthy balance between the two factors. Standards and time frames must be discussed and agreed on. thus short changing the employee. Figure 4. with the portion of authority not realized representing the “authority gap. being relatively low. and—in the long run—the organization. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 179 . Figure 4 depicts the relationship between performance and authority. It is the manager’s responsibility to solicit feedback from the employee in order to ascertain the employee’s degree of understanding. both. Rectangle B reflects this condition. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. However. but often does not. it is quite reasonable for that person to expect increased autonomy and discretion in the execution of his or her responsibilities. as performance continues to improve. When an employee performs consistently in a competent manner. increase correspondingly.

6. Accept mistakes as inevitable. Interpersonal 1. and decisional aspects of the follow through phase. 4. Evaluate performance. and creativity. 4. Assess results. Gather information (do not hover). Provide honest feedback. 5. Support initiative. Monitor system. informational. How flexible is the manager prepared to be in allowing the employee to make his or her own decisions? Figure 5 presents the interpersonal. 2. 3. 3. . Expecting results from the delegatee without following through with support. . Figure 5. Most often. failure to follow through with what was promised at the time of delegation will undermine and frustrate the efforts of the employee. 3. responsibility. Share all pertinent information. Share feelings. Ask for ideas and opinions Decisional 1. 2. Correct when necessary. 4. the demands and pressures of ongoing work create other priorities. The key questions in Phase 3 are: 1. 5. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 2. What kind of support is most needed in this instance with this employee? 2. the manager fails as well as the employee. 7.Phase 3: The Follow-Through Out of sight. Decide on modifications. information. and support? 3. the Follow-Through 180 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Informational 1. 4. 2nd Edition. Phase 3. 2. 8. Allow freedom. Be open to suggestions. and resources is unreasonable. It is true that some employees will successfully carry out even the most difficult tasks without management follow-through. When this happens. What is the appropriate balance of freedom. Once a manager has delegated a task. however. Encourage independence. Content Questions Does the employee have all the resources and authority necessary to do the job? When will reporting meetings be conducted? When is the task to be completed? How is progress toward agreed-on goals to be monitored? How is it to be measured? Process Questions 1. Plan for the future. 5. 3. Compliment efforts and reward results. structure. out of mind . Be available. often leaving only a faint memory of what has been delegated until a product or outcome from the process is needed. show interest. .

Pursuing this view of the organization as interconnected systems. norms. Manager s s s s s Employee s s s Organization s s s s s Self-confidence Willingness to delegate Ability to organize work Knowledge of the work Familiarity with the employee’s skills and interests Concern for the employee Self-confidence Ability to do the work Willingness to accept responsibility s Organizational values Nature of the work Structure of how work is done Structure of reporting relationships and management accountability Reward system Figure 6. However. employees tend to feel less like “sharing” in the work and are likely to have feelings of powerlessness. 1982). does more than simply organize and distribute the work. these are the manager. Where delegation is conducted with clarity and trust. 2nd Edition. procedures. Delegating full authority to an employee in an organization in which managers are expected to make decisions and then live or die by them is more risky than it is in an organization in which employee learning is highly valued and understandable errors are accepted. Where poor planning and withholding of autonomy and authority typify the way in which work is delegated. Self-confidence on both „‚ 181 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. it contributes to the social norms of the organizational unit. As shown in Figure 6. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . to achieve a fuller appreciation of delegation in context. Ouchi. the employee. we must also consider its social and strategic implications. and reward systems all strongly affect managers’ ability and tendency to delegate effectively. A committed and motivated work force will help to improve the quality of work and reduce operating costs. Equally important are the personal characteristics of the individuals involved. The implications and impact of organizational “climate” or “culture” have been well documented (Deal & Kennedy. decision-making procedures. 1981. Under ideal conditions.DELEGATION IN CONTEXT Following the three-phase model presented here will help managers to plan and utilize delegation more effectively. which reduce effectiveness and restrict problem solving and creativity. Less healthy organizational climates promote less employee commitment and interest. however. The manner in which this process is conducted. employees are likely to feel a sense of involvement and responsibility. It is important that organizational leaders recognize that structure. and norms. Peters & Waterman. 1982. Both the style and the content of delegation help to shape the prevailing organizational climate. we find three major forces that affect the success of a delegation effort. and the organization’s policies. The Three Forces That Affect Delegation Delegation as a power-sharing or power-withholding vehicle is constrained by factors in each of these categories. delegation is employed to organize and distribute the work load in an effort to maximize the usefulness of available human and technical resources.

it takes time and effort. and traditional way. T. & Waterman. (1982). Reading..G. F. Weber. Reading. a directive delegating approach with clear reward contingencies may work best. a more participative approach probably is needed. R. if the manager’s goal is to increase efficiency while freeing up more of his or her own time for other work. Peters. New York: Harper & Row. (1973). New York: Harper & Row. Effective delegation is an ongoing process that results from the continual application of good interpersonal and managerial practices. The principles of scientific management. Corporate cultures. and the employee must be willing and able to take on the work. SUMMARY Delegation is much more than a skill that is used only when work is handed to another person. This process can help to integrate successful delegation into the manager’s job as a strategic and always human process.sides is of major importance.. Wright Mills. status-bound. For example. As such.. The payoffs include better organization of the work. If the goal is to “turn around” a sluggish work force or to initiate employee development for future replacement of key individuals. MA: Addison-Wesley. (N. and more time for the manager. McCall. MA: Addison-Wesley. NC: Center for Creative Leadership. Theory Z. A. Gerth & C. Greensboro. M. T. From Max Weber: Essays in sociology. Instead of assigning work either in a random and reactive manner or in a repetitive. managers should explore how the delegation process can be employed creatively and for optimum mutual benefit. For delegation to be fully effective. New York: Harper & Row. & Segrist. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Ed. Insecure managers generally fear the loss of control. the manager must be willing and able to share. increased job satisfaction. (1981). Ouchi. greater productivity. W. and Trans. Mintzberg. Taylor. and insecure employees lack the confidence in themselves to take on challenging work. 182 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Matching the delegating style to the specific requirements of each situation creates new potential for all involved and increases the relevance of delegation as a strategic process and tool. The nature of managerial work.W. 2nd Edition. & Kennedy. C. The three-phase model is a convenient way to help managers to plan and conduct their delegation responsibilities in a complete and reasonably sequenced manner.) New York: Oxford University Press. (1911). (1980). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. (1946). (1982). Delegation works best when all three elements are working together toward the realization of valued personal and/or organizational goals. REFERENCES Deal. H. In pursuit of the manager’s job: Building on Mintzberg.H. M.

most appraisal forms and procedures are subjective judgments of various traits that are thought to be important on the job. In Wade v. job interviews) and criteria variables (e. San Diego. a unitary. However. 1982). evaluation. for each Originally published in The 1986 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. such approaches may measure only selective aspects of an individual’s total contribution to the organization (Goodale. District Court held that such trait-rating systems are often biased and not job related and that there must be (a) a relationship between the appraisal instrument and job/task analysis. A suggested alternative is the collaborative development and routine use of behaviorally based methods that assess job dimensions or competencies not measurable by goal or trait approaches. . Timely. development. which now cover any measurement tool or procedure that impacts any significant personnel decision. and (b) evidence that the appraisal instrument is a valid predictor of job performance. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. . Goodstein (Eds. Toops (1944) states that in “making predictions. and promotional decisions. Goaloriented approaches have several advantages. general success score. 2nd Edition. or criterion score. A typical appraisal intervention is some form of goal or objective setting. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. Effective performance appraisal also is necessary to meet Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements. time to reach required performance). employment tests.” and they must be job related and valid (Casio. Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service (1976).„‚ THE USE OF BEHAVIORALLY BASED SCALES IN PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL John Sample Organizations accomplish their goals and objectives through effective utilization of human. informational.S. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 183 . performance ratings. In this context. 1982).. financial. 1977). one of which is to separate organizational means (resources and activities) from intended ends (outcomes and results) (Kaufman. Performance appraisals are viewed as “tests. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.g.g. a U. Development of Criteria The effectiveness of a human resource management and development program can be measured by functional relationships between predictor variables (e. Two such methods are behavioral expectation scales (BES) and behavioral observation scales (BOS).. and material resources. generally there must be .). behaviorally specific information about staff performance is necessary for effective placement. However. Appraising performance is one of the most important functions of any developer of human resources.

Smith and Kendall (1963) bemoaned the existing technology for developing effective performance-rating scales. to hire. Smith and Kendall concluded that: Better ratings can be obtained.person” (p. BOS are based on actual. A second concern was with the unjustified assumption that scale developers would agree on important characteristics of employees. not all management decisions involve prediction. 1963).) help to develop performance dimensions for the position. 2nd Edition. & DeCotiis. in our opinion. In their original research. their supervisors. etc. We should reassure him that his answers will not be misinterpreted. to promote). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . AND BOS Behavioral expectation scales (BES) and behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) differ from behavioral observation scales (BOS) in one major respect: BES and BARS are based on inferred (but not necessarily observed) performance (Smith & Kendall. Developing BES The development of behavioral expectation scales (BES) is a sequence of five phases. 1977). 1976).. 1975). a manager may not be able to generate performance measures that have utility throughout the HRD cycle (Smith. The development may include an analysis of available job descriptions. observed performance (Latham & Wexley. According to Casio (1982). to impose their own values in scales. customers or clients. etc. BES. especially psychologists. a published job/task analysis. the standards are criteria” (p. These dimensions define the critical parts of the job. (p.e. the distinction between predictors and criteria is as follows: “If evaluative standards such as written or performance tests are administered before a personnel decision is made (i. not by trying to trick the rater (as in forced-choice scales) but by helping him to rate. 184 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. BARS. However. One of their major concerns was with the proclivity of scale developers. There usually are between five and ten dimensions (Schwab. 271).. 102). Performance dimensions usually are generated as a group activity. 151). the standards are predictors. and we should provide a basis by which he and others can check his answers. If evaluative standards are administered after a personnel decision has been made (i. A manager may wish to evaluate the consequences of a particular personnel action or program. to evaluate performance effectiveness). We should ask him questions which he can honestly answer about the behaviors which he can observe. Henmon. Without relevant predictors and criteria.e. A third concern was that scales need to have at least face validity for the respondent. Phase I: Development of Performance Dimension People who are knowledgeable about a specific position (job incumbents.

A behavioral incident is eliminated from further consideration if the raters are not in agreement about which performance dimension it relates to. At least two behavioral anchors were developed for each competency. 1973). Phase IV: Scale Development Once the critical incidents are assigned to appropriate performance dimensions. Typically. and advanced behavioral anchors for the competency “adult-learning understanding. each dimension is supported with six to nine behavioral incidents. a fiveor seven-point scale is used to indicate the extent to which each incident represents a specific level of performance (highly effective. The training and development competency study by the American Society for Training and Development (McLagan.g. Figure 2 provides examples of basic. 1963). This ensures that behavioral incidents are matched correctly to performance dimensions. & Hellervik. Phase III: Retranslation A different group of job-knowledgeable people allocates a randomly ordered list of behavioral incidents to the performance dimensions identified in Phase I. Thirty-one competencies (as opposed to job dimensions) were identified in the knowledge and skill areas of the training and development field.. This process reduces the percentage of acceptable behaviors. Smith & Kendall.75) are eliminated from further consideration (Campbell. moderately effective. Means and standard deviations are computed for each behavioral item. Smith and Kendall (1963) advocate the editing of all behavioral incidents so that they represent “not actual behavior but inferences or predictions from observations” (p. The literature suggests from 50 to 80 percent for agreement (Casio.50 or 1. 1983) adapted Smith and Kendall’s approach for developing behavioral anchors. or very ineffective). graphic scale for each performance dimension.Phase II: Development of Critical Incidents A group of job-knowledgeable individuals generates specific examples of job behaviors (effective. average. using a seven-point scale. This phase utilizes the critical-incident method developed by Flannagan (1954). 1975. Arvey. 1. 150). The behavioral incidents are concise statements of observable behavior. Figure 1 is an example of a performance dimension with behavioral anchors. Phase V: Final Scale Development Smith and Kendall (1963) advocated the construction of a vertical. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 185 .. intermediate. and ineffective performance). Dunnette.” The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and items with standard deviations exceeding an arbitrary standard (e. Schwab et al. 1982. 2nd Edition.

if ever. document it well. Care is taken by the researcher to help participants to avoid describing traits or attributes. Flannagan’s (1954) critical-incident method is used to generate behavioral examples of work performance. 1 Unacceptable Could be expected seldom. Could be expected to have a sound plan. state weekly where the program stands relative to plans. usually adding unforeseen events. Could be expected to plan. does not seem to care. and observe deadlines. 5 Good 4 Average Could be expected to lay out all the parts of a program and schedule for each part. Could be expected not to plan more than a day or two ahead. 2 Very Poor Could be expected to have no plan. Figure 1. In successive sessions. Could be expected to do little or no planning for project assignments. and due dates 7 Excellent 6 Very Good Could be expected to develop a comprehensive program plan. Dunnette (1976) reports that fourteen or fifteen participants can produce between two hundred and three hundred behavioral incidents during several sessions. The researcher meets with people who are knowledgeable about the job position. 3 Below Average Could be expected to have plans that are poorly defined and time schedules that frequently are unrealistic. obtain required approval. seek to stay ahead of schedule. organizing. work segments are not scheduled. does not report slippages in schedules or other problems as they occur. the behavioral incidents are edited and 186 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. but does not keep track of deadlines. and distribute the plan to all concerned. but communicates effectively. and allow for slack. assignments. no inquiry about how to improve. maintain up-to-date charts of program accomplishments and backlogs. Could be expected to make a list of due dates and revise them as the program progresses. Could be expected to fail consistently due to lack of planning. and scheduling program activities. 2nd Edition. communicate. Could be expected to experience minor operational problems. Example of a Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale for Program Management Developing BOS The procedures for developing behavioral observation scales (BOS) are similar to those for developing BES. to complete program because of lack of planning.Scale Values Job Dimension Program management: planning. with no concept of a realistic due date. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and use these to optimize any required modifications of schedule.

and continuing learning plans. Intermediate In order to assure that the managers participating in a management development program get the most out of their learning. A T&D specialist. learning contracts. He or she then develops a workshop entitled “How to teach adults about microcomputers. the T&D specialist develops a halfday module on how to selfmanage the learning process. and observes local representatives. 2nd Edition. Example of Behavioral Anchors for a Competency (From McLagan. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. skills and attitudes. 1983. interested in exploring the applications of a broad range of learning theories to the training and development field. Basic When preparing visuals for a presentation. Understanding individual differences in learning. the T&D specialist assures that there are no more than five to seven points on each slide. A writer preparing a selfstudy manual for experienced nurses includes action-planning modules at the end of each section to assure that the nurses have a formal opportunity to relate the theories to their own practices. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 187 . American Society for Training and Development.” complete with a set of job aids for interpreting the manuals.A. Figure 2. The course is presented to all company representatives. The T&D specialist identifies the issues to be addressed and moderates and provides commentary on discussions during the meeting. Advanced Microcomputer customers complain that the written instructions and information provided by local representatives is too confusing. the T&D specialist develops a program that uses participative methods. The module is designed to be highly participative and presents the latest findings about how adults learn. The learning specialist reviews the manuals. Knowing that support and review are important after a learning experience.SAMPLE BEHAVIORS ILLUSTRATING LEVELS OF EXPERTISE COMPETENCY 1. Adult-Learning Understanding Knowing how adults acquire and use knowledge.5) 1 1 1 From P. invites ten leading learning theorists to be featured at a oneday colloquium. When asked to develop a career development program. p. Models for Excellence. 1983. McLagan. interviews customers. the T&D specialist implements a series of follow-up brochures that review key points and application ideas from a course.

and the rater records the frequency with which the employee was observed demonstrating the indicated behavior. Obtains required approval and distributes plan to all concerned. 22). Dimension: Planning. 1977). and incidents that describe esentially the same dimension are grouped into one performance dimension (Latham & Wexley. but the literature from organizational and industrial psychology still reports the effectiveness of BES and BOS formats. Regularly assesses performance of staff in relation to work plans. 1976). Studies by Burgar (1978). Friedman and Cornelius (1976). 2.. the development of BES for store managers was a valuable learning experience because they “seldom. 2. Several performance dimensions and their accompanying behavioral items compose a behavioral observation scale (BOS) (see example in Figure 3). Example of a Behavioral Observation Scale (BOS) for a Program Manager BES AND BOS: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES It has been over twenty years since Smith and Kendall (1963) first described the developmental procedures for behavioral expectation scales (BES). Organizing. and Warmke and Billings (1979) strongly support participation in as many phases of scale development as possible. 188 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. Individual scores are determined by summing the raters’ responses to all the behavioral items (Latham et al. (1973). 3. A five-point Likert scale is developed for each behavioral item. if ever. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . & Blood. give careful attention to what they really mean by effective performance” (p. Develops a comprehensive program plan and documents it well. Behavioral scales provide the rater with performance dimensions and behavioral items that are specific and nonambiguous (Fogli. and Scheduling Program Activities Behavioral Items 1. The apparent advantages of BES and BOS are significant and are as follows: 1. Never (0-19%) 1 Seldom (20-39%) 2 Sometimes (40-59%) 3 Generally (60-79%) 4 Always (80-100%) 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Figure 3. Hulin. According to Campbell et al. The developmental procedures directly involve those who are most affected by a performance-measurement system—those being rated and those who perform as raters. 1971).classified into performance dimensions.

. 2. 684). 1974.. 463). In at least one study. Campbell et al. Keavney & McGann. 1977. Odiorne. 1979). and freedom from halo and leniency error) (Borman & Vallon. and according to those researchers. 1981. graphic rating scales (in terms of reliability. Landy. Saal. the alternative methods do not significantly jeopardize the quality of behavioral-item development. Farr. Behavioral scales. 1970). he or she is inviting “virtually every type of rating error possible” (Bernardin & Smith. 1977). data tabulation. 1974. Burnaska and Hollman. BES correlated highly with objective performance measures (Casio & Valenzi. and final construction). 4. Fagg. 1979). A significant disadvantage with BES and BOS is that the rater must attempt to recall employee behavior over a six. 1973. such as management by objectives (MBO) (Dawson. 1963). Fogli et al.. 2nd Edition. 1972). Latham.to twelve-month rating period. & Freytag. A comprehensive management plan could include an integrated BES and MBO system (Baird. the rater can maintain a journal of The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1975). 1974. validity. statistical analysis. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 189 . & Schneier. & Saari. BES are not clearly superior to other. Fay. Schwab et al. Several apparent disadvantages also are worth mentioning. The development of behavioral observation scales (BOS) eliminates this problem by using more of the item pool (Latham & Wexley.Because the behavioral items are written in the language of the user. According to DeCotiis (1978). If the rater does not make systematic observations at consistent intervals over time. 1. To alleviate this problem. Two shortcut methods for BES development are discussed by Green. Beatty. 1981. BES and BOS assess only behavior. Zedeck & Baker. & Champion (1981). they are less subject to misinterpretation (Smith & Kendall. Individual contributions to program or agency goals are better assessed by means of a goal-setting system. The development of BES for college-instructor performance generally requires many hours of participant time (to create and scale incident descriptions) and as many as eighty hours of professional and clerical time (for editing. Field tests indicate that BES are superior to typical. 1975). 1963). when developed properly. and more easily developed rating formats (Atkin & Conlon. The developmental procedures for BES create item wastefulness. According to several sources. 1971. 1982. questionnaire development. 1973. Dickinson & Tice. Research on the psychometric properties of BES suggests that they have demonstrated medium to high reliability (Burnaska & Hollman. 1978). Smith & Kendall. 3. BES seem to possess adequate convergent validity but have questionable discriminant validity (Campbell et al. more traditional. 3. 1978. current BARS scaling procedures “inevitably result in the rejection of a large percentage of the behavioral item pool” (p. are content valid and job related (Goodale. 1973. Schneier & Beatty. The development of BES is costly and time consuming. 1976. p.. Sauser.

Some of the problems associated with behavioral expectations scales (BES) can be overcome with the development of behavioral observation scales (BOS). The rater reviews the performance dimensions (e. 1980. these approaches also may be used for other purposes. 1977). Thus the manager is required to extrapolate from observed behaviors those that could be ‘expected’ as defined by the scale anchors” (p..g. Fay & Latham. As has been discussed earlier. selection. and the rater is not required to infer or extrapolate actual behaviors. a BES is a vertical. In at least one study. 1982. According to Latham and Wexley (1977). interpersonal relations”) and behavioral anchors for each dimension. ADDITIONAL USES FOR BEHAVIORALLY BASED SCALES This article has emphasized the use of behaviorally based scales in performance appraisal. A useful approach would be to provide rater training that emphasizes the necessity for observing and recording specific behavior as a means for avoiding rater error (Bernardin & Pence. The BOS format utilizes a five-point scale for each behavioral anchor (see Figure 3).e. “planning and organizing. Selection. 1982). 267). Thus.specific critical incidents (both positive and negative) that are observed during the rating period (Goodale. The rater then checks the behavioral anchor that best describes what the employee could be expected to demonstrate. Placement. Job descriptions and specifications frequently do not include behavioral expectations. An additional advantage of BOS is that the final scale utilizes more behavioral items than does the BES format. 65). Recruitment. 190 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. rating scale (see Figure 1). the process of learning the organization’s norms and values) can be enhanced with behaviorally based scales. “A potential problem is that the behaviors that the manager has seen the employee demonstrate may not resemble the specific anchors on any of the scales. graphic. 1978). however. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Spool. and the rater indicates the frequency with which the behavior was observed. only observed behaviors are rated. socialization (i. with the behavioral scales being a seven-point continuum. 2nd Edition. This will aid in the recruitment. and Socialization A legally defensible job analysis can be based in part on behaviorally based scales. Once a person is on the job. BOS were rated by users as more practical than BES (Fay & Latham. and placement of human resources. Behavioral specificity enables the manager to more effectively fit the person to the job. Bernardin and Pence (1980) believe that emphasis “should be placed on training raters to observe behavior more accurately and fairly than on providing illustrations of how to or not to rate” (p..

Blood (1974) suggests that such scales can be useful in assessing agreement on organizational policy and communication patterns. and thorough. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. sex. making it difficult to give meaningful feedback to organizational personnel. The use of behaviorally based methods. and they would learn how their performance is to be evaluated” (p... along with goal.Evaluation Program evaluators can use behavioral-expectation and observation data in their summative and formative reports. The critical-incident method is useful for monitoring performance on a regular basis. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 191 .g. 2nd Edition. Additionally. Training and Development Blood (1974) cites a compelling need for the use of BES in the development of training programs in which “the skills to be trained for are specified in terms of actual job behaviors rather than simply the name of the skill domain . 514). consistent leniency or harshness. Promotion and Transfers It has been over twenty-five years since Douglas McGregor (1957) described his uneasy feeling about performance appraisal. the tendency to rate everyone “average”) manifest an unhealthy organizational culture. consistent. or age. Although good performance might lead to promotion. Personnel can be evaluated using behaviorally based methods. 1973). prejudice regarding race. it also should encourage each manager to provide feedback that is behaviorally specific. SUMMARY Several factors should be considered when using behaviorally based scales in a performance-appraisal system. so that employees’ skills are more congruent with their jobs. Performance appraisal affects not only the person being appraised.and objective-setting measures. Rating errors (e. The appraisal process is one of many ways in which employees are socialized into the organization’s culture. Trainees in a program based on these materials would learn expected behaviors. poor performance now might lead to transfer. McGregor’s concern was that traditional performance-appraisal systems suffer from a lack of behavioral specificity. The behavioral responses of clients and customers to sales and marketing people can be evaluated using behaviorally based scales. . behaviorally based scales can serve as “criteria against which to evaluate predictors for selection and promotion decisions” (Campbell et al. . . Human resource management (from recruitment to termination) should rely on timely and accurate performance information. can facilitate career development.

Burnaska. DeCotiis.D.. 59.D.A. (1981). Campbell. T. Dunnette. Journal of Applied Psychology. (1973). 57. H. Casio. (1978). R. Relations among criteria of police performance.. Journal of Applied Psychology. Chicago: Rand McNally.H.S. E.F. Amherst. J.S. 59. Academy of Management Review. (1974).P. No. 60-66. & Hellervik. C. P. An empirical comparison of the relative effects of rater response biases on three rating scale formats. Burgar. W. (1982). 22-38. L.C. 2nd Edition. E. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 119-128. 38. (1982). 63. 513-515. G.R. P.No performance-appraisal system is perfect or without tradeoffs. A clarification of some issues regarding the development and use of behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS).. (1976). A comprehensive organization development intervention could include an integrated BARS and MBO system. W. 65. Educational and Psychological Measurement..G. abilities and skills. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance.D. (1982).. 307-312. Spinoffs from behavioral expectation scale procedures. 192 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Casio.. A critique and suggested revision of behaviorally anchored rating scales: Developmental procedures. Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology.C.. & Smith. 105-116.L.J. Applied psychology in personnel management. C. R. W. T. 421-438. (1978). Individual contributions to organizational results may be better assessed through some form of goal setting such as management by objectives.). 8. performance-appraisal system that is consistent with the assumptions and objectives of human resource development.. Borman. 197-201. & Tice.R. (1974). Behaviorally anchored rating scales: Some theoretical issues.. The development of behaviorally based scales may be time consuming. 15-22.G. & Valenzi.E. Bernardin. The development and evaluation of behaviorally based rating scales.R. Journal of Applied Psychology. (1978). H. (1981). 3. E. 59. 75-76 (Ms. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology. Dickinson. Dunnette (Ed. Journal of Applied Psychology.. Management by objectives. M.D. The performance appraisal sourcebook. Lifelong Learning: The Adult Years. 1745). REFERENCES Atkin. W.E. Dawson. In M.S.. Journal of Applied Psychology. & Hollman. Journal of Applied Psychology. Dunnette. T. Fay. R W. M. BARS assess only behavior. (1973). & Schneier.. Blood.. & Conlon. 9. Bernardin. 681-690. MA: Human Resources Development Press. (1980). & Pence. 30-33.D.F. but such scales provide a relevant and legally job-related.P. & Vallon. A view of what can happen when behavioral expectation scales are developed in one setting and used in another. Personnel Psychology. Aptitudes. Arvey. (1978). The effects of rater training: Creating new response sets and decreasing accuracy. 66. Journal of Applied Psychology. & Latham.V. L. Have behavioral expectation scales fulfilled our expectations?: A theoretical and empirical review. M.J. 458-463. Beatty. Effects of training and rating scales on rating errors. T. VA: Reston Publishing. 4. (1974). Baird. T.J. Reston. 35. R. A multitrait-multimethod analysis of scales developed by retranslation.

E. McLagan. G. Pfeiffer and L. McGregor. M. (1977).. L. (1963). C. Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology. R. Personnel Psychology..H.A. 51-60.Flannagan. Journal of Applied Psychology.. 47. P. (1975). Spool. B. and consultants. (1982). The critical incident technique. Smith. 853-888. Sauser. Fagg.B. R. Behaviorally anchored rating scales: A review of the literature. Goodale. & Billings. 24(9).M.P.H.G. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 193 . 60. Personnel Psychology. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.. Journal of Applied Psychology. 299-311.D.. & Freytag. (1971). R. 30.C. An uneasy look at performance appraisal. T. Saal. Journal of Applied Psychology. 64. Landy.C. & Saari. 41. 212-216.N. J. & Wexley. Behaviorally based rating scales: Toward an integrated approach to performance appraisal... (1977). Dunnette (Ed. 299-311. (1954).A.L. J. K.C. 695-703.I.. L. Combining BARS and MBO: Using an appraisal system to diagnose performance problems. Shortcut methods for delivering behaviorally anchored rating scales. 124-131. Psychological Bulletin.W. Goodstein (Eds. Schmidt (Eds. 761-765. C. J.D. (1981). In W.).L. D. 549-562.P. D. & Pursell.G. 2nd 508 (5th Cir..R. L. D.A. Personnel Psychology.. In M. C.. (1976).E. Washington.N. Educational and Psychological Measurement. Journal of Applied Psychology. Warmke.P. Behavioral observation scales for performance appraisal purposes.T..L.C. Fogli.. Wexley.. (1944).N. Journal of Applied Psychology. S.W. 32. Schneier. Holistic human resource development: Beyond techniques and procedures. 32. Chicago: Rand McNally.1976). 55. T.. 255-268. W. (1975). H..). E. (1978). (1976). Friedman. G.M. (1979). 4. Schwab. & McGann. & Beatty.. Contemporary problems in personnel (rev. Hulin. 89-94.S. Journal of Applied Psychology. Behaviorally anchored scales for rating the performance of police officers. & DeCotiis. Training managers to minimize rating errors in the observations of behavior. J. The effect of rater participation in scale construction of the psychometric characteristics of two rating scale formats. 271-297. A comparison of behavioral expectation scales and graphic rating scales. 31. Educational and Psychological Measurements..R. Training by objectives.S. The development of behavioral observation scales for appraising the performance of foremen. Latham. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. results and organizational effectiveness: The problem of criteria. C.D. Models for excellence. 2nd Edition. Wade v. G. & Blood.J. 51. F. The criterion. (1957).. Henman. Farr. 28. Training programs for observers of behavior: A review. New York: John Wiley.E. & Cornelius. P. Journal of Applied Psychology. (1979). A. & Kendall. G. 550-555. (1983). 3-8.). 528 F.. trainers. Development of first level behavioral job criteria. ed. Retranslation of expectations: An approach to the construction of unambiguous anchors for rating scales. Odiorne. 327-358.P. Kaufman. Green. A comparison of training methods for altering the psychometric properties of experimental and administrative performance ratings. The 1982 annual for facilitators. Fay. Personnel Psychology. M. 149-155.L. Latham. (1970). Personnel Administrator. Behaviors. & Champion.J. New York: Macmillan. In J.).F. Toops. F. Keavney. (1979). Harvard Business Review. Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service. Smith.D. Latham. (1976). P. (1975). W. San Diego. K. H. Hammer and F. 35. 60. 61. DC: American Society for Training and Development.

Organizational Behavior and Human Performance. 7. 457-466.. (1972). 194 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.Zedeck. 2nd Edition. Nursing performance as measured by a behavioral expectation scale: A multitrait-multirater analysis.T. & Baker. H. S. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .

and unimaginative” (Corwin. Deputy Treasury Secretary Richard Darman stated that “[There is a tendency] in large-scale corporate America to be like the government bureaucracy [that] corporate executives like to malign: bloated. because this article was written by an employee of the Federal government. The industrial society could rely on a plentiful supply of cheap. 1985. William Pfeiffer (Ed. However. 1983). p. Information processing and the provision of services now dominate the economy and the employment market. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. 2nd Edition. and the ways in which they are managed must be different. Today. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 195 . The hierarchical management structures and authoritarian managerial behaviors that characterized most assembly-line production operations and carried over into most large organizations are no longer appropriate to a service and information society in which innovation and responsiveness are essential. Other estimates indicate that over a half-million managers have been let go by United States firms in the last five years.„‚ APPLYING A CONSULTING MODEL TO MANAGERIAL BEHAVIOR Terry Newell Several factors are forcing organizations to rethink basic management tenets that have been held since America became an industrial society nearly a century ago. Nielson. and a host of other considerations. inefficient. No official support or endorsement by the United States Department of Education is intended or should be inferred. Originally published in The 1988 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. Snyder. it is in the public domain and may be reproduced by anyone in whatever quantity he or she wishes. This article was written by him in his private capacity. increasing competition in the world market demands new ways of thinking and operating in our organizations. San Diego. and in shorter supply. eighty-nine of the one hundred largest United States companies have reorganized to reduce the number of management layers. more expensive (Yankelovich & Immerwahr. Employees are demanding better benefit packages. 12). and a total of two to three million will be cut by 1995 (Middle Managers. the jobs of today’s workers are different. flexible hours. In short. More women hold jobs outside the home. THE NEED FOR INNOVATION AND AUTONOMY IN THE WORKPLACE Inexorable economic and demographic changes demand changes in our ways of managing organizations. relatively uneducated labor. 1984). 1986). participation in decision making. The author is the director of the Horace Mann Learning Center in the United States Department of Education. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. risk-adverse. 1987. their ways of thinking are different. Since 1980.). 1985. The number of people entering the work force will drop by nearly 6 million between 1984 and 1995 (The Future Environment. and the workers needed today are better educated.

196 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. then the consulting model that HRD practitioners use with managers is an appropriate model for managers to use with their subordinates. In addition to Maccoby (1981). yet largely descriptive books. But if employees are to assume more autonomy. instead. especially planning. not an order giver” (p. Current HRD Models Are Too Limited Human resource development (HRD) practitioners have not been idle participants in this arena. disturbance handler. resource allocator. we need a model of management that tells how they should behave as well. Since the Hawthorne studies in the 1930s. and disseminator. He suggested that. the focus of all these works is on the manager as the person in charge of the situation. monitoring. delegating. costly absenteeism. Furthermore. they have contributed ideas and techniques to help free the potential in managers and their employees.In a study of worker attitudes using national polling techniques. 2nd Edition. “that hierarchical and policing-style management causes resentment. Kanter (1983). We need a model that makes sense in organizations that are less hierarchical and more lateral. The traditional approach to management training focuses on the basic functions a manager performs: planning. and controlling. as Naisbitt (1982) suggests. The closest anyone has come to a practical guide to management is Hersey and Blanchard’s work on Situational Leadership® (1982). Much of their writing is applicable to managers. and a negative attitude to the business” (p. the new leader “is a facilitator. Unfortunately. Maccoby (1981) suggests that the “gamesman” leadership style he described in the 1960s now must give way to a different approach that takes into account the changed “social character” of the work force: “It is becoming more generally accepted. few managers are aware of it. participate more in decision making. But there is a gap between what HRD has offered and what managers have used. but their points serve more as goals to strive for than as road maps or instructions. 58). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The current trend seems to be a focus on leadership. Mintzberg (1975) discovered that they seldom sit still long enough to devote concentrated attention to most of these functions.” he notes. Bennis and Nanus (1985). In his studies of managers. and Peters and Austin (1985) have written excellent. 188). Subordinates also can use it to improve their own abilities to participate effectively in decision-making processes. managers vary among ten roles such as liaison. organizing. Mintzberg’s research was more descriptive than prescriptive. Yankelovich and Immerwahr (1983) found that employees highly value and want more discretion in how they do their jobs. and few HRD professionals have translated it into something that managers can use. MANAGERS AND THE CONSULTING ROLE If. sabotage. less authoritative and more collegial in their relationships. Part of the problem may be that many of the HRD models just do not suit managers’ needs. and take matters more into their own hands.

On the other hand. The terms “manager. and—at least from nine to five—is viewed as more worthwhile than others. Many managers sense that they are not very effective in this role. Each offers a different degree of employee involvement and managerial leverage.” “superior. gives the orders. Figure 1 presents a model of consulting developed by Lippitt and Lippitt (1986). therefore. Because language is a powerful influence on how we think and. we come across roles that are more acceptable to most managers. monitoring.The consulting model suggests a new language for talking about management. many managers fear the observer/reflector role because they believe that it requires them to sit back and let employees make the decisions.” connote a more equal relationship. adopting consulting language may be a significant way to break down the old mental and behavioral patterns of both managers and employees. The role continuum thus helps to define participative management. In contrast. The fact that such role choices exist releases managers from the “either-or” thinking that says they must be autocrats or marshmallows with their employees. suggest eight behavioral alternatives for increasing employee involvement. In between are six additional roles from which the manager may choose.” “boss. To adapt this model for managerial purposes.” “trainer.” “helper. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . however. The consulting model offers a rich behavioral repertoire for managers and employees. As we move toward the center of the continuum in Figure 1. many managers who reject participative management do so because they think that this is what they are being asked to do. The advocate manager is the hard charger who knows what needs to be done and only needs to sell it to his or her employees.” and “supervisor” connote a relationship in which one person does the thinking. we replace the word “consultant” with the word “manager” and the word “client” with the word “employee. Although many management books encourage managers to become participative. This is not to say that managers must give up their power—one of the primary elements that distinguishes them from consultants. the terms used most often in organizational consulting. Participative Management and Consulting Roles The two extremes on the continuum probably are the ones played least frequently by managers in effective organizations. act. or controlling—but behavioral options a manager has for working with employees in carrying out these functions. If this figure were viewed as a matrix. and employees increasingly are rejecting this type of leadership. On the contrary. the manager who begins to think of his or her supervisory responsibilities in terms associated with consulting may actually gain personal power with subordinates. few tell how to do so.” The continuum in Figure 1 thus moves from one extreme (on the right) in which the manager (consultant) advocates a specific solution to the other extreme (on the left) in which he or she just observes and comments on what the employee (client) is doing. such as “facilitator. They are not managerial functions—such as planning.” and “consultant. Figure 2 illustrates the relationship between managerial functions and role choices. These eight roles. each of its „‚ 197 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. In fact.

Effective management. is likely 198 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. however. Relationship of Consulting Roles and Management Functions cells would contain discrete behaviors that define how a manager implements a given consulting role for a given managerial function.Figure 1. Figure 3 presents some of the behaviors that are associated with each consulting role. Multiple Roles of the Consultant Figure 2. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The behaviors are listed opposite the role where they are most likely to be found or for which they are of paramount importance.

s s Alternative Identifier/ Resource Linker Fact Finder Conducts or facilitates lateral-/creative-thinking exercises. places. s Speaks and writes clearly and persuasively. s Identifies pros and cons of options under consideration. s Designs research and evaluation approaches to gather needed data. Assists in facilitation and diagnosing interpersonal. 2nd Edition. s Arranges learner practice. s Conducts or facilitates action planning based on solution identified. Identifies needs and characteristics of audience. behavioral. trust. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 199 . communication. s Actively listens to communications. s Intervenes in the system consistent with negotiated role. Identifies learning objectives. Behaviors Associated with Consulting Roles The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. s Uses models of interpersonal. places. s Modifies approach and content as needed. s Facilitates open. s Analyzes effectiveness of advocacy effort. s Uses soft and hard data-collection methods to gather information about problems and opportunities. Researches topics to identify helpful people. problem-solving. s Involves individuals and groups in analyses of diagnostic data and in action planning. interpersonal. and organizational effectiveness to guide diagnosis and intervention. assertive. and group behavior. nonjudgmental terms consistent with agreed-on observer role. s Links self and others to people. s Organizes data to answer questions. s Feeds back observations in specific. group. publications. s Presents state-of-the-art information on technical subjects. goal-setting. authentic communication among individuals and groups. and technical health of the business/organization. s s Information Specialist Trainer/Educator Joint Problem Solver Establishes and builds problem-solving teams. s Presents information on the business environment and the health of the business/organization. s Assesses degree of learning and provides appropriate reinforcement. and neutrality.Role Advocate s s Behaviors Commonly Used in Implementing the Role Clarifies the message to be communicated. social. s s Identifies the need for data to address questions about organizational issues. s Uses a variety of training approaches to meet diverse learner needs. s Arranges for on-the-job follow-up/reinforcement. s s Figure 3. s Identifies appropriate approach/media. publications. Conducts or facilitates problem-solving sessions using appropriate problemsolving techniques. s Plans learning experience consistent with principles of adult learning. and conflict-management processes. s Asks and responds to questions. Identifies diagnostic models to assess economic. decision-making. Observes individual. political. s s Objective Observer Creates a climate of acceptance. s s Process Counselor Negotiates process-consultation role with individuals and groups. and organizational leadership. Assesses learning styles. group.

in a flow of managerial action. the manager would first need to understand the learning styles of the employees. can initiate events. Yet even when the manager is an advocate. Because managers and employees both have influence in this model. To the extent that such systems are “top down. experience based. Managers traditionally have instituted systems such as “pay for performance” and “management by objectives” to hold employees accountable. we might assume that a manager has been an effective advocate and “sold” employees on using a particular model to carry out the unit’s planning cycle. the manager assumes that the problem is solved when the employees have verbally agreed to use the planning model. This might include some combination of written materials (for example. This is especially true when the manager operates in a problem-solving or alternative-identifier role. It also is important to note that all eight of the role choices and their associated behaviors allow for some degree of employee and managerial participation. like clients. The manager might then wish to teach the model to the staff. This approach is quite different from the more common. instructions in its use). The manager would need to blend these activities in ways conducive to adult learning (that is. Such a manager mistakes verbal acquiescence for behavioral implementation. Because the manager participates in each role. Employees also have influence in all parts of the model. making the training relevant. The consulting model suggests that employees. relatively learner controlled. Employees still can actively influence actions to be taken. practice exercises (a case-study activity or actually working through a sample plan). not just react to orders. both must accept responsibility for the results. they point to scapegoats (managers and others) as the causes 200 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” they often fail. and so forth). he or she affects the outcome. visual materials (a film on planning). and on-thejob experience. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . To do this.to call on behaviors from various roles in any given situation as the manager switches from advocate to problem solver to process counselor to information specialist. The manager would then identify how to teach the planning model taking these style preferences into account. more directive approach characterized by the manager who starts and stops with the advocate role. This may help to address the concern of mid-level managers that the intent of employee participation is to eliminate their roles. because they imply that the employees’ behavior is controlled by someone else. The manager also would need to plan for adequate evaluation and on-the-job follow-up to confirm that the planning model is learned and used. Even when the manager serves as “observer. The application of the consulting model to managerial behavior does not imply that the manager withdraws from the scene. When employees lack influence. and so on. 2nd Edition. an article on the planning model. Although each of the eight roles in Figure 1 provides some level of employee participation. Only later is the manager likely to find that the employees have neither accepted nor learned how to use the model. he or she is more a salesperson than a dictator.” the observations can be valuable to the group and can impact the decision or task. As an example. the manager is needed or influential to some degree in all of them. As an advocate.

true accountability results. their employees assume more responsibility. The eight roles in the consulting model provide considerable variety—more so than many management models. Contrary to many of these models. 2nd Edition. The example that follows illustrates this point. his or her subordinate managers assume more responsibility. while employees are involved more in the work that they do. the consulting continuum suggests that a single situation may call for multiple roles in a dynamic interaction that requires rapid shifts of managerial behavior. Personnel units traditionally measure their success by the extent to which their hiring policies. which suggest that a given situation calls for a particular style of management. When employees have choices and can influence events and outcomes. plan. managers. thus allowing them more participation. The more the system can train managers and employees to consult. payroll systems. Obviously. thus freeing that person to do more important things in his or her role. and appraisal forms are complied with by managers rather than by the extent to which they develop differing hiring. A positive chain reaction can begin at either end. Conversely. and appraisal systems to meet the differing needs of organizational units. or in coordinating projects with other departments). payroll. These functions often are viewed as regulators and “police” partly because their members do not apply a consulting orientation in their work. when they take responsibility for solving problems themselves. and the organization all benefit from this. advisory board.of failure. in situations in which they have no direct line authority (such as when serving on a task force. Managers can gain more influence by encouraging their own supervisors to serve as trainers or joint problem solvers. their manager is freed to become more participative with and assume more responsibility from his or her supervisor. The same is true for managers. FLEXIBILITY IN THE CONSULTING ROLE An effective consultant will vary the role he or she plays according to the needs and stages of the consulting relationship. as a top manager becomes more participative. Consulting skills also help managers and employees in functioning horizontally within the organization. the less time managers need to spend in directing and supervising. As employees become more participative and assume more responsibility. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 201 . consultative model is particularly suited to situations involving such horizontal integration and internal coordination. Managers and employees in staff units such as the HRD and personnel departments also need consultative skills. They have time to do so because as they themselves become more participative. employees. The final effect is that managers are freed to do more of what they are really paid to do. All Levels in the Organization Benefit The consulting roles presented in the Lippitts’ model also can be used by managers to operate effectively in dealing with their own supervisors. A participative. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.

Most of the staff members have seen the figures before. the processing time has been cut by only 12 percent. Furthermore. the revised awards program has succeeded because of its use of time off as an incentive. After two months. The manager advocates that the group use force-field analysis to look at the problem. These will be explored by the total group in a meeting the following week.” Tension seems to be developing between them and the “rate buster” employee. 2nd Edition. It further agrees that three problems must be given priority and that action plans must be developed to deal with them: 1. The employees agree.” the manager calls a separate meeting with the problem employee and urges him to improve.” The employees look at one another. although most of them are not familiar with the process. A list of such awards is generated. using the unit’s computer equipment. she promises cash incentives to employees who approve their average processing times.” She also decides to institute a daily processing log to replace the weekly log now being used. The other employees are grumbling about “spending so much time filling out logs that we can’t get our work done. and it is rumored that he is looking for another job. the manager sees that one long-term employee is well below average. in the hope that closer monitoring will speed things up and allow her to spot problems sooner. The employees suggest that the job of the long-term employee be restructured to remove him from check processing and to give him more administrative tasks such as designing time-saving changes in the work flow. The manager calls a staff meeting and probes for “why things have gotten out of control. 202 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the processing time has been reduced by 34 percent. Finally. 3. An option to select cash instead has been of benefit to one employee who needs the extra money. and one finally speaks up: “It’s the people in the mail room. although this alone is not enough to cause all the delays. His work load will be picked up in part by a secretary who wants to learn check processing and by the time saved by new work procedures. It is agreed that weekly logs do not provide warning of problems early enough. It is agreed that written logs are too time consuming. especially about problems caused by staff absences that overload other employees. “People have been out on vacation. The performance of the problem employee is no better. The manager says that she will train them in how to use it. Two of the procedures resulted from force-field analyses that the employee conducted with other staff members. because they are posted at the end of each week. The employees recommend that the incentive program be changed to put less emphasis on cash and more on nontaxable awards. The Traditional Manager Reviewing the processing logs of her employees.” A third chimes in. The Consultant Manager The manager calls her staff together and presents the data that her supervisor has shared with her.The Situation A unit in the finance office has had excessive delays for the past three months in processing payments received. This has led to a loss of profits because of loss of interest on the funds. His knowledge of the organization and his long-term relationship with the mail room are cited. 2. a number of problems are identified.” Another adds. As a result of the analysis. “We’ve had equipment down. they take forever to even get the checks here.” Dissatisfied with what she views as “excuses. Substitution of daily logs. The manager sat in on the meeting and provided process feedback to both the long-term employee and the group members. The staff is working more harmoniously. would allow the manager to schedule the work flow more evenly. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The director of the unit has been told to cut processing time by 30 percent for the next quarter. She is told that “not everything can have top priority. After two months. and the long-term employee has identified three alternatives for cutting processing time further. largely because of the efforts of one employee who needs the cash incentive. The manager then meets with the director of mailing operations to see if the mail flow can be improved. The group agrees to engage in joint problem solving.

when faced with a crisis situation that calls for quick action. Figure 4 shows the types of skills most often needed by managers in the eight consulting roles. and so forth). and other skills could be added. The placement of skills opposite roles in the figure is suggestive. and so on. This lack of awareness of process concepts and skills may help to explain why technical experts often fail as managers and why so many managers become authoritative. using whatever process “common sense” suggests. systems analysis. requiring—process skills. The tradeoffs are similar to those suggested by Vroom (1973).” they become prescriptive and dogmatic while wondering why giving an order is not enough to ensure that it is carried out. Managers. As Table 1 shows. They have technical skills that enable them to be content experts in particular fields (for example. Tradeoffs occur with all role choices.Tradeoffs Each of the consultative managerial roles is appropriate under certain circumstances. Many of the skills are useful in more than one role. they even know what the term means. in fact. but frequently they do not have process skills. they know what process to use with people to accomplish a given goal and they know how to give feedback to groups to help them to improve their interactions and their processes such as problem solving. if the manager has the required information. little need to draw on the resources of the group. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the extent to which the group contributes. the employees will have little involvement in the decision and will learn very little about how to handle similar situations in the future. There may be little time for involvement and. quantitative methods. CONSULTING ROLES AND MANAGERIAL SKILLS The consulting model directs attention to a range of skills not traditionally viewed as essential for managers. survey design. 2nd Edition. Of course. a manager may need to be an advocate. training technologies. The consulting model changes the definition of managerial skills by legitimizing—in fact. and the extent of employee development. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 203 . The midcontinuum roles of joint problem solver and identifier of alternatives may represent the optimum approach for managers who need to solve complex problems while developing the problem-solving capabilities of their employees. not exact. consultants have two kinds of expertise. Each serves certain ends. They also have process expertise. usually are content or technical specialists. For example. the extent of group commitment to the decision made. Lacking the ability to “work a group. They approach each situation as if it were primarily a technical problem. As Lippitt and Lippitt (1986) point out. on the other hand. strategic planning. these tradeoffs involve the speed with which decisions are made. Many traditional managers still do not consider process expertise to be an essential managerial skill—if. decision making.

the importance of process skills tends to increase as the manager becomes less directive. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . First.” (Salesperson) “I can tell you how to do that.” (Colleague) “Have you considered doing it this way?” (Resource) “If you collect some data before deciding. this may explain why managers who lack these skills feel more comfortable staying in more directive. many of these skills are not part of traditional management training. content-oriented roles. often are treated only 204 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” (Group Coach) Past Decisions High High Group Commitment to Decisions Low Low Development of Group Members Low Low Use of Group Resources Low Low Trainer/ Educator Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Joint Problem Solver Moderate High High High Identifier of Alternatives Moderate High High High Fact Finder Low High High High Process Counselor Low High High High Several observations can be made about Figure 4.” (Researcher) “You’re working together well as a group in doing that.Table 1.” (Teacher) “Let’s work together on how to do that. I can help.” (Technician) “Let me teach you how to do that. such as developing employees or solving problems. 2nd Edition. Again. Characteristics of Consecutive Managerial Roles Degree to Which Managerial Approach Leads to: Managerial Role Advocate Information Expert Managerial Approach to Employees “Do it my way. Second. The ones that are.

In some training programs.g. Consultants may fear that they will lose business as a result. focus-group processes) Research and evaluation Management analysis Process consultation Organizational behavior Conflict management Team development Counseling Active listening and feedback Observation skills Third-party mediation Information Expert Trainer/Educator s s s s s s s s Joint Problem Solver s s s s Identifier of Alternatives s s s Fact Finder s s s s Process Counselor s s s s s Observer/Reflector s s s Figure 4. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.. In fact. Managerial Roles and Skills Third. interviewing. “techniques” are presented without the underlying concepts being explained fully. Figure 4 implies that HRD practitioners need to share with managers the knowledge and skills that now define the consulting profession. survey design. As managers learn more about and become more involved in HRD. This will demystify consulting and make managers less dependent on consultants. Managerial Role Advocate Knowledge/Skill s s s Marketing Public speaking Public relations Technical expertise in the business of the organization Training-needs assessment Learning-style assessment Task/job analysis Training design Learning-materials development Experiential-learning/adult-learning principles Behavior modeling Problem-solving methods Management of change Group dynamics Action-planning techniques Creative-thinking skills Networking Computer conferencing Organizational diagnosis Data collection (e. 2nd Edition. it will make managers more educated consumers of consulting services. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 205 . This can result in managers who are not able to modify techniques to fit various situations or who can use a technique only in the exact situation described in the training program. they will demand more of it in and for their organizations.briefly or are optional.

The first step for HRD practitioners will be to make managers aware of alternative behaviors and their potential for improving their performance. Managers might benefit from such written codes. rather than discourage. and investigative bodies. safety. Books such as In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Peters & Waterman. automotive manufacturing (potentially fatal defects in several car models). and in finance (insider stock trading) and government (the Iran-Contra affair) illustrate this point.MANAGERIAL ETHICS The consulting literature devotes a fair amount of attention to ethical considerations. there is evidence that managers knew of serious problems but did little to acknowledge or solve them. This will encourage. they have been told to behave in hierarchical. managers will need to learn to be more willing to deal with conflict. the performance of their employees. challenging the impact of potential business decisions on employee or public health. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . For example. it often tends to pay less formal attention to the role of ethics in business practice. 1983). courts. Similarly. and their organizations. accepting that disagreements often are healthy. and respect for authority. routines. on the other hand. The consulting model can help to correct this situation because the examination of values and the discussion of ethics in decision making are part of the consulting role. In most of these cases. authoritarian ways and have been rewarded for doing so. IMPLICATIONS FOR HRD PRACTITIONERS Although managers can improve their performance and their organizations by behaving more like organizational consultants. especially if they were enforced by managers themselves rather than by outside forces such as legislatures. largely because organizational consulting practice has roots in the helping professions. India). Such standards usually require that a consultant inform all parties in an intervention of his or her loyalties and of any conflicts of interest that could affect decisions to be made. For decades. Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives (Naisbitt. such as psychology and therapy. 1985). and Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge (Bennis & Nanus. Effective consultants also conform to certain ethical standards—in some cases. and the wealth of spinoffs 206 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. it will not be easy to effect this change. 1982). Most consultants have found that ignored conflicts impede progress. Hierarchical management. pharmaceuticals (toxic-shock syndrome). 1983). is rooted in industrial and military models in which the emphasis is on rules. to written standards such as those of the American Psychological Association. They will have to convey to their employees that it is permissible to challenge the boss. The Change Masters: Innovation for Productivity in the American Corporation (Kanter. 2nd Edition. and trust. Fairly recent tragedies in industries such as chemicals (Bhopal. As a result. consultants believe that it usually is essential to confront differences rather than to suppress them.

At this stage. the consulting model can be used to help managers to diagnose their organizational cultures. to solve problems. through reference to the literature and through data collected about what effective managers in The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.from these best sellers help to create a climate that encourages new managerial behavior and lends it credibility and legitimacy. their own behavior. As a second step. to collaborate. Managers can make their own managerial values explicit and compare them to those of effective consulting practices. HRD practitioners can incorporate consulting skills into managerial training. By providing them with a framework in which to think about these things. their work units. Third. problem solver. Many managers either are beginning to recognize the need to facilitate work. HRD practitioners can have a powerful influence on how managers act. how to collect data and diagnose problems. Human resource development professionals can share these materials and ideas with managers to help create a more receptive environment. As has been pointed out earlier. When managers accept the concepts in the consulting model. HRD practitioners should be most concerned with encouraging acceptance of new concepts and the language that goes with them. Instruments and data-feedback processes that assist in this type of diagnosis also can be quite useful. The heart of any selection process is an analysis of what the job requires. They can be taught how to become aware of process as well as product. 2nd Edition. They also can be taught the skills for each of the consulting roles and when each of these skills is appropriate. and to consult or are being exhorted by their leaders to do so. They can be given specific skills such as how to enter into “contracts” with their employees. Fourth. they will find it appropriate and useful to ask questions such as the following: s “What kind of environment do we foster (advocate. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 207 . observer/reflector)?” “Does the environment match the tasks we have to complete?” “Are we able to change the environment and our own behaviors to reflect the roles and skills needed for what we have to do?” “How flexible are we?” s s s A manager who recognizes that his or her behavior is encouraging staff members to act as advocates (each trying to sell a point of view) when working together as problem solvers can gain an important insight that is not readily available in most approaches to management or organizational diagnosis. and how to terminate a contract and move on to other business. Human resource development professionals can point out. HRD practitioners can stress the need for consulting skills in the design of managerial selection systems. and the behavior of their employees. how to do action planning. talk is the first step toward action. But managers lack a conceptual model to organize and guide such behavioral change.

The leader. When employee participation is encouraged. The consulting model frees managers from the restrictions of their traditional roles. 2nd Edition. Englewood Cliffs.M. The change masters: Innovation for productivity in the American corporation. the situations in which a manager must be the “boss” are less numerous than may be commonly believed. and some decisions must be reserved for the manager. Inc. Many organizations whose appraisal systems focus on the “bottom line” need this process focus but do not know what process behaviors to measure.). consulting skills and measures of those skills can be built into performanceappraisal systems for both managers and employees. (1986. The consulting process in action (2nd ed.. Fifth. (1986). W.. September 16). REFERENCES Bennis. 34.H. & Nanus. M. VA: Human Technology.). P.. However. Managers are not always called on to act as consultants. NJ: Prentice-Hall. N. that consulting skills are among those that should be assessed when decisions are made about hiring people for management jobs. & Blanchard.the organization already do. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. January). Norman Corwin’s “Words without music. Middle managers are still sitting ducks. (1985). K. The future environment for federal workforce training and development: An analysis of long-term trends and their implications. (1985. New York: Simon & Schuster. R. Corwin. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . McLean. 208 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. G. New York: Simon & Schuster. Management of organizational behavior (4th ed. and in providing input and making decisions related to their work. & Lippitt. New York: Harper & Row. Maccoby. It is appropriate to ask. in scheduling their own time. Hersey. B. More and more organizations are involving employees in appraising their own performance. motivation increases and negative behaviors such as slowdowns and failure to comply with standards are decreased. 12. San Diego. (1983). for example. Some managerial tasks have nothing to do with consulting. Finally. p. R. 4(3). The consulting model provides a framework for this. how well a manager engages the group in problem solving and whether he or she knows when and how to perform as an alternative identifier. CONCLUSION No model applies to every situation.. and The Futures Group. Business Week. Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. HRD practitioners can help managers and formal associations of managers to discuss ethical standards for managerial behavior and to formulate managerial codes of ethics. (1982). (1987).” New Management. Lippitt. Kanter. (1981). in suggesting ways to improve the work flow. Its flexibility benefits the organization by allowing maximum knowledge of the task to be applied to any work situation.

pp. Vroom. The manager’s job: Folklore and fact.). The strategic context of education in America. (1984). New York: Harper & Row. Snyder. Yankelovich. Management layoffs won’t quit. 49-61. Peters. Organizational Dynamics. New York: Public Agenda Foundation. Jr. Peters. N.H. J. 46-49. (1985). 2nd Edition. V. (1975). & Austin. & Immerwahr. 112. Harvard Business Review. New York: Random House.. & Waterman. (1983). New York: Warner Books. Unpublished manuscript. Putting the work ethic to work.. (1973. A passion for excellence: The leadership difference. The strategic context of management in America. D. R. Spring). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. (1982). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. D. 66-80. (1983). Snyder.. DC: National Education Association. H..J.Mintzberg. Megatrends: Ten new directions transforming our lives (6th ed. T. Naisbitt.H. 53(4). A new look at managerial decision making. Fortune. (1985). T. J. (1986). D. Nielson. J. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 209 . Washington.

To develop the subordinate’s understanding of his or her strengths and weaknesses. A manager can provide coaching at any of various stages in a subordinate’s development (for example. experience.V. 9. 8. by U. and 10. from Performance Counselling (CR Reading 18). this article concentrates on the coaching provided by a manager to a subordinate. To contract to provide whatever support the subordinate needs while implementing the action plan.). In this context performance coaching can be defined as the help that a manager provides to subordinates in analyzing their performance and other job behaviors for the purpose of increasing their job effectiveness. 7. William Pfeiffer (Ed. The objectives of coaching are as follows: 1. Rao. Any organization interested in administering a good performance-appraisal system that aims at developing employees must practice effective performance coaching. conflicts. To encourage the subordinate to set goals for further improvement. San Diego. 6. concerns. 2. Although performance coaching can be provided by anyone who is senior (in competence.„‚ PERFORMANCE COACHING Udai Pareek and T. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Few managers exhibit skill in coaching without training. 2nd Edition. 1978. To review the subordinate’s progress in achieving objectives. To provide a nonthreatening atmosphere in which the subordinate can freely express tensions. 3. To increase the subordinate’s personal and interpersonal effectiveness by giving feedback about behavior and assistance in analyzing interpersonal competence. in the Originally published in The 1990 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. Adapted with the permission of the authors. for example) to the employee being coached. To help the subordinate realize his or her potential. 210 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 5. To identify any problems that are hindering progress. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . knowledge. To enhance the subordinate’s understanding of the work environment. and problems. or hierarchical position. Pareek and T. 4. Venkateswara Rao Performance coaching is an integral part of performance appraisal. New Delhi Learning Systems. soon after a subordinate has been hired or when the subordinate faces difficulties or problems). Human resource development (HRD) professionals need to be aware of the growing importance of coaching. To assist in generating alternatives and a final action plan for dealing with identified problems.

the HRD professional should emphasize that the following conditions are necessary if coaching is to be effective: 1. A subordinate’s performance does not automatically develop in positive ways because coaching takes place. coaching can be quite useful in helping a subordinate to integrate with the organization and to develop a sense of involvement and satisfaction. 2. At least a minimum degree of trust and openness is essential. and must be able to convey both helpfulness and empathy to the subordinate. issues that are not work related may arise. The manager as coach must approach the task as an opportunity to help. raises. Consequently. Avoidance of discussion about salary. A general climate of openness and mutuality. Consequently. THE THREE PROCESSES INVOLVED IN COACHING Coaching involves three main processes that the HRD professional can help managers to master: communicating. influencing.future they will be called on to teach this critical skill. If the organization or the unit in which the subordinate works is full of tension and mistrust. this article addresses the essentials of coaching that HRD professionals may need to know in order to teach managers how to coach subordinates. the manager persuades the subordinate to move in a particular direction by positively reinforcing desirable behavior. Coaching is collaborative rather than prescriptive. must feel empathy for the subordinate being coached. When communicating. A helpful and empathic attitude on the part of the manager. and discussing the linkage between performance and rewards may interfere with this purpose. During the course of the discussion. When training managers in coaching skills. 5. coaching cannot be effective. CONDITIONS FOR EFFECTIVE COACHING Coaching is a means rather than an end in itself. It is based on the subordinate’s achievement of performance goals set in concert with his or her manager. but when this happens the manager should refocus the dialogue on improvement in the organizational setting. the manager listens (receives messages). and other rewards. and helping. the coaching process should be one in which both the manager and the subordinate participate without inhibition and engage in a discussion that eventually results in a better understanding of the performance issue involved. initiates and responds (gives messages). 4. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 211 . and gives feedback. encourages the subordinate to The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. When influencing. The purpose of coaching is to help a subordinate plan improvements in performance. But when done effectively. 2nd Edition. The establishment of an effective dialogue. Work-related goals should be the exclusive concern of a coaching effort. attention should be given only to behaviors and problems that directly relate to the subordinate’s achievement of those goals. A focus on work-related goals. 3.

establishes the mutuality of the relationship. During the helping phase of a coaching session. 2nd Edition. skill. initiating and responding. and fosters the subordinate’s identification with the manager as someone whose experience. The Processes Involved in Coaching Communicating The general climate of a coaching session should be congenial to increase the chances that the subordinate will be receptive. Communication can become distorted if the manager and subordinate do not establish empathy for each other and try to understand each other’s point of view. the manager expresses concern and empathy for the subordinate. both parties respond to the needs of the other. gestures. and influence are greater than the subordinate’s own. When helping. 212 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication. Figure 1. These processes and their components are illustrated in Figure 1 and described in detail in the following paragraphs. and giving feedback. In addition. and assists the subordinate in identifying his or her developmental needs. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Accordingly.exercise more autonomy. posture. it is important for the manager to remember that communication is greatly influenced by how the problems and issues to be discussed are perceived by both parties. There are three elements of communicating: listening. and tone are critical.

or reflect what was said to ensure that the message has been understood as intended. When the subordinate has completed a message. but I still haven’t been promoted. for example. 1978). whereas “What might account for the fact that your last project was late?” invites examination and discussion of the issue. clarifying. or express doubt about the subordinate’s abilities create a gap between the manager and the subordinate. the manager should be continually aware of appropriate phraseology and tone. a sarcastic tone may be perceived as criticism even if the actual words do not seem critical. Some questions can make a subordinate either shut down or respond in a way that indicates dependence on the manager. Questions that are used to criticize. Listening for hidden messages is a skill that can be practiced. Critical questions. Rao & Pareek.Listening Listening involves paying careful attention to the messages sent by another person. mirror. but the feelings and concerns underlying the subordinate’s ideas must also be received and understood. regardless of whether the subordinate is able to voice them.” Demonstrating that the message has been heard and understood aids the progress of the discussion. For example. a number of activities emphasize the improvement of a listener’s ability to detect them (see. establishing rapport. reprimand. When discussing performance that has not met standards. whereas others can build openness and autonomy. Consequently. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 213 . Similarly. The questions that are asked and the manner of asking them can either facilitate or hinder the process of communicating. a subordinate might say. take place in an environment that is free from interruptions so that the manager can concentrate totally on the situation at hand.” The manager might respond. Not only must the subordinate’s cognitive message be heard. I’ve worked twice as hard as anyone else in the office. “I’m really mad. “How can you meet your next deadline when you failed to meet the last one?” expresses doubt in the subordinate’s abilities. the coaching session should. a question such as “How did you miss another deadline?” constitutes a reprimand. a question such as “Why did you fail to meet the deadline for your last project?” communicates criticism. Critical questions undermine not only the subordinate’s The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The kinds of questions that tend to hinder the process of communicating include the following: 1. and stimulating thinking. The manager can demonstrate that this is the case by assuming an attentive posture (leaning forward) and by maintaining eye contact with the subordinate. if at all possible. Initiating During a coaching session the manager typically asks a number of questions for various purposes: obtaining information. The subordinate needs to know that the manager is actively listening. For example. the manager should paraphrase. in addition. “You feel that you haven’t been shown appropriate recognition for your hard work. 2nd Edition. I’ve tried to do my best in the past year.

Questions that elicit the subordinate’s help or suggestions can indicate that the manager has faith in the subordinate. they keep the manager and the subordinate at the same level throughout the conversation so that neither party becomes confused or lost. 3. the subordinate may also ask this kind of question. they convey empathy. it can convey an attitude of cross-examination regardless of whether the words do. a manager whose objective is to find out why the subordinate is missing deadlines can easily slip into this kind of posture. These questions imply a superior attitude on the part of the manager. which stops further exploration of the issue and may provide information that is misleading or incorrect. Testing questions. For example. Other kinds of questions can help rather than hinder in developing a healthy relationship between the manager and the subordinate and in increasing the subordinate’s effectiveness: 1. “How do you think I should deal with this problem?” When the manager and subordinate share an open. For example. mirroring. Questions conveying trust. Again. Clarifying questions. For example. generate trust. The manager may unwittingly ask a question that evokes the answer he or she wants. 2nd Edition. they are asked for the purpose of expressing concern rather than finding solutions to problems. tone is extremely important. Empathic questions are those that deal with the other person’s feelings. Empathic questions. 214 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. they also may lead to resentment on the part of the subordinate. the manager may ask. 3. the manager might ask. Testing questions are similar to critical questions in their effect on the subordinate. 2. the manager may say something like “You weren’t able to meet your last deadline because the maintenance department fell behind. Questions that are asked to determine whether the subordinate is “right” or “wrong” or to discover how much the subordinate knows are evaluating or testing questions. and they may make the subordinate feel as if he or she is on the witness stand undergoing a cross-examination. or reflecting what the subordinate has said: “You’re worried about your lack of knowledge of the new system. trusting relationship. This kind of question is frequently asked in connection with paraphrasing. “How did you feel when the shipping department sent the wrong order to the customer?” Such questions indicate concern about the effect of an event or a situation on the subordinate. For example. Leading questions. and build the rapport that is so necessary to the success of performance coaching. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Clarifying questions are those asked for the purpose of obtaining useful information about performance issues and problems. which may or may not be the real answer. right?” or “Were you unable to meet your last deadline because the maintenance people wouldn’t cooperate?” A leading question almost seduces the respondent into giving the desired answer.confidence but also the manager’s objective in conducting the coaching session. Is that so?” Clarifying questions help to confirm understanding. 2.

4. concerns. If properly given. Giving Feedback Giving feedback is important in terms of increasing the subordinate’s self-awareness. Responding As is the case with the questions that a manager initiates. criticize. feedback results in greater rapport between the supervisor and the subordinate. Responses that are empathic. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 215 . they stimulate reflection and thinking on the part of the subordinate. 2nd Edition. The most useful questions are those that have no implicit answers. and exploratory are useful. particularly with regard to strengths and weaknesses. Dysfunctional Behaviors Useful Behaviors Alienating Continually stressing conformity Failing to encourage creativity Passive (rather than active) listening Failing to give verbal responses Critical Criticizing Pointing out inconsistencies Repeatedly mentioning weaknesses Belittling Reprimanding Empathic Leveling Building rapport Identifying feelings Supportive Acknowledging problems. Dysfunctional and Useful Managerial Responses. Feedback is effective (Pareek. supportive. instead. Figure 2 presents various behaviors that characterize useful and dysfunctional responses. whereas those that alienate. feelings Accepting differences of opinion Showing understanding Communicating availability Committing support Expressing trust Exploring Asking open questions Reflecting Sharing Probing Closing Summarizing Concluding Contracting for follow-up and help Directive Prescribing Giving orders Threatening Failing to provide options Pointing out only one acceptable way Quoting rules and regulations Figure 2. 1977) when the manager ensures that it: The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Open questions invite the subordinate to be creative in exploring the various possible dimensions of an issue and to share these ideas with the manager. Open questions. or deliver orders are likely to be dysfunctional. managerial responses to subordinate comments can be either useful or dysfunctional.

Taking an aggressive stance toward the manager instead of seeking his or her help in understanding the feedback. Rationalizing instead of analyzing why the behavior was shown. defensive reactions such as the following should be discouraged: s Denying the feedback instead of accepting responsibility for the behavior being discussed. 2nd Edition. Concerns behavior that is modifiable. The manager might want to discuss the characteristics of effective feedback with the subordinate before the coaching session. Is checked with other sources for verification. Displacing (expressing negative feelings when the manager may not “fight back”) instead of exploring the feedback with the manager. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Reinforces positive new behavior and what the subordinate has done well. Is continual rather than sporadic. Assuming that the manager has negative feelings about the subordinate instead of trying to understand the manager’s point of view. The subordinate should be encouraged to view the feedback in terms of exploring ways to improve his or her performance. Is focused on the subordinate’s behavior rather than the subordinate as a person. Satisfies the needs of both the manager and the subordinate. It also might be helpful to discuss possible reactions with the subordinate. and Contributes to the rapport between the manager and the subordinate and enhances their relationship. Is well timed. Is intended to help. Exhibiting counterdependence (rejecting the manager’s authority) instead of listening carefully to the feedback. Accepting automatically and without exploration instead of eliciting more information in order to understand the feedback and the behavior. Provides data from the manager’s own experience. Suggests rather than prescribes avenues for improvement. Is specific and based on data rather than general and based on impressions. Displaying humor and wit instead of concern for improvement. Is based on need and is elicited by the subordinate. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer s s s s s s s 216 ‚„ .s s s s s s s s s s s s s s Is descriptive rather than evaluative.

Positively Reinforcing Skinner (1971) has established that change in behavior can only be brought about through positive reinforcement as opposed to punishment or negative reinforcement. the individual’s freedom is restricted. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 217 . and fostering the subordinate’s identification with the manager. When a person is criticized or punished. One major influence that helps a subordinate to develop is The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the manager must use the indirect mode by accepting the subordinate’s feelings as well as his or her own. For coaching to have the intended effect. Increasing the Subordinate’s Autonomy Influencing is often thought of as decreasing the autonomy of the influenced person and directing him or her into channels that are predetermined by the person exerting influence. Fostering Identification Levinson (1962) has stressed the importance of the process by which the subordinate identifies with the manager. the positive influencing that takes place during a coaching session has the opposite effect. Therefore. acknowledging and praising good ideas contributed by the subordinate. consequently. those activities for which he or she receives this censure are inhibited or avoided in the future. which restricts the freedom of the person being influenced. the person who is influenced is granted a wider scope of decision making. It involves increasing the subordinate’s autonomy. Flanders classifies criticism and punishment as direct influencing and encouragement as indirect. the other is called the indirect mode. which increases the freedom of the influenced person. 2nd Edition. However. Flanders (1970) makes a distinction between these two different kinds of influencing: One is called the direct mode. desirable behaviors. he or she feels encouraged to take more initiative in exploring new directions. and raising questions that promote thinking and exploration. expressing those feelings. when a person is praised or positively recognized. practicing positive reinforcement. because change cannot take place without experimentation and risk taking. and Generalizing instead of experimenting with alternatives for improvement. s Influencing Influencing is an effort to have an impact on the subordinate. thereby experiencing greater freedom and autonomy. influencing in the coaching session involves providing encouragement and reinforcing success so that the subordinate is inclined to take more initiative and to try new. On the other hand.s Showing cynicism or skepticism about improvement instead of accepting the feedback and planning to check it with other people.

the manager replays what was learned 218 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. plans can be made regarding ways to fulfill them. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . responding. Levinson (1962) identifies several ways in which the influencer may block such identification: lack of time. Once these needs have been identified. a coaching process based on transactional analysis. a coaching session can degenerate into an empty ritual. Mutuality is based on trust and the genuine perception that each party has something important to contribute. and failure to examine the relationship shared by the influencer and the person being influenced. Although the manager is in a superior position. 2nd Edition. Establishing Mutuality Coaching entails receiving help as well as giving it. complete rejection of dependency needs. he or she must demonstrate willingness to learn and to receive help from the subordinate. it is a legitimate need that should be fulfilled. skill. The manager must be able to empathize with the subordinate and to reflect this empathy in the tone of the conversation and the kinds of questions asked. However. and assisting the subordinate in identifying developmental needs. In the absence of real concern. In responding. establishing mutuality. Identifying Developmental Needs The ultimate purpose of performance coaching is the systematic and specific identification of a subordinate’s developmental needs. For example. coaching cannot be effective. and guiding. Levinson also suggests that the manager as influencer should examine his or her own process of identifying with others and interacting with subordinates. and influence. Sperry and Hess (1974) have advocated the use of contact counseling. Expressing Concern and Empathy Without demonstrating genuine concern for the subordinate. In this process the manager uses the techniques of keying. Keying involves “reading” the subordinate. Unless the mutuality of the helping relationship is established during the coaching session so that both parties feel free to ask for and provide help. the supervisor uses an appropriate frame of reference to perceive what the subordinate means by his or her verbal and nonverbal responses. According to McClelland (1976) this identification is the first stage in the development of psychological maturity. intolerance for mistakes. Helping In a broad sense the entire spectrum of performance coaching can be seen as helping. repression of rivalry. the manager cannot provide effective helping during a coaching session.the opportunity to associate and identify with people who have greater experience. the specific task of helping during a coaching session involves particular activities: expressing concern and empathy.

” The advicerequest technique consists of asking the subordinate for suggestions and advice with regard to the performance issue at hand. either knowingly or unknowingly. helps subordinates to become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses. These skills are particularly important at the time of performance review. guiding. support involves acceptance of each subordinate as a total person and encouraging that subordinate with warmth. Finally. THE SEQUENTIAL PHASES OF COACHING DURING A PERFORMANCE REVIEW One of the goals of coaching is to help the subordinate to grow and develop in the organization. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and the coaching behaviors that help as well as those that hinder the progress of each activity.” The second-hand compliment involves relaying a compliment from a third party: “Ms. a formal performance review provides an especially important opportunity. An effective manager. in the course of the day-to-day work life. to improve on their strengths. Every manager coaches subordinates. When employing the you-we technique. 2nd Edition. and summarizing. Morrisey (1972) has suggested a few other techniques: the “you-we” technique. in a coaching capacity. consists of motivating or helping the subordinate to change his or her behavior in a way that accomplishes objectives more effectively. and action planning. Mutuality involves working with each individual subordinate to develop future plans of action for growth and contribution to the organization. Figure 3 presents these three phases. the second-hand compliment. the activities that characterize them. Although a good manager coaches subordinates regularly whenever the need arises.from keying in a manner that communicates understanding of the subordinate’s message. the manager uses “you” to compliment the subordinate and “we” to designate a need for improvement: “You are doing a great job. exploring. Reynolds says that you’ve done an excellent job for her. Such a review passes through phases that correspond to certain skills on the part of the manager: rapport building. The final technique. Coaching requires certain interpersonal skills that the HRD professional can assist a manager in acquiring if the manager is genuinely interested in developing subordinates. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 219 . summarizing at the end of the coaching session helps to clarify the decisions made and the responsibilities assumed and integrates the entire discussion. and to overcome their weaknesses. a manager helps subordinates to develop. By establishing mutuality and providing support as well as the proper emotional climate. the advice-request technique. we have a problem.

noise. pros and cons Discussing solutions and jointly choosing one Discussing an action plan Establishing a contingency plan Hindering Behaviors Discussing behavior immediately Rapport Building Attending Listening to feelings. such as telephone calls) Signing letter. and disturbances Communicating feelings and concerns Paraphrasing feelings Sharing own experience Mirroring or paraphrasing Asking open questions Encouraging subordinate to explore Asking questions to focus on the specific problem Encouraging subordinate to generate information Narrowing the problem Asking exploratory questions Generating several possible causes Generating alternative solutions Asking questions about possible solutions Asking questions about feasibility. priority. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . talking to others during conversation Accepting Failing to respond Listening passively for a long period Exploring Investigating Criticizing Avoiding or hedging Identifying the problem Suggesting what the problem is Diagnosing Suggesting the cause Action Planning Searching Advising Decision making Directing Devising an inflexible plan and holding the subordinate to it Figure 3. problems Indicating distraction (paying attention to other things. The Sequential Phases of Performance Coaching. 220 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. concerns.Phases Helpful Behaviors Observing rituals Conversing about personal matters Smiling Indicating physical attention (posture) Maintaining eye contact Responding (verbally and nonverbally) Eliminating or excluding telephone calls.

Three basic managerial activities are involved in this phase: 1. support. 3. and needs are all dealt with. 2nd Edition. The manager should strive to foster the subordinate’s confidence so that he or she opens up and frankly shares perceptions. concerns. The manager helps the subordinate to develop these feelings by listening and by paraphrasing. This phase requires great skill on the part of the manager. The subordinate’s situation. by listening and becoming attuned to the subordinate’s problems and feelings. weaknesses. most subordinates can tell when the manager is merely playing the part of concerned coach. Investigating. closing the door to ensure privacy. „‚ 221 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. As has already been discussed. warmth. Listening. or reflecting the subordinate’s message. mirroring. Accepting. so the better approach is to assist the subordinate in discovering them for himself or herself. by communicating understanding to the subordinate. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . strengths. feelings. openness. and so forth. The manager also must remember to concentrate on nonverbal as well as verbal messages. where the manager can engage in certain behaviors to set the stage properly: offering the subordinate a chair.Rapport Building In the rapport-building phase the manager attempts to establish a climate of acceptance. that expressing differences of opinion is acceptable. thereby facilitating the coaching process. All such rituals must come out of the manager’s genuine concern for the subordinate and for the objectives of the session. In the opening rituals of a coaching session. The following activities are characteristic of this phase: 1. Attending. 2. Generally a coaching session is held in the manager’s office. and asking the secretary not to allow phone calls or other disturbances. Establishing a climate of acceptance is a necessary part of establishing rapport. problems. the manager should convey that he or she is attending to the subordinate and considers the session important. No one enjoys being told about weaknesses. and that the manager is interested in understanding him or her as a person rather than simply as a role incumbent. The subordinate must feel that he or she is wanted. Exploring In the exploring phase the manager attempts to help the subordinate better understand himself or herself and the performance problem at issue. and by expressing empathy for and genuine interest in the subordinate. active listening is essential to effective coaching and includes such signs of attention as leaning forward and maintaining eye contact. and mutuality. difficulties. This is done by adopting the subordinate’s frame of reference. this approach makes the subordinate feel understood and valued and assists in building a climate of acceptance. to discover any related but previously unidentified issues. This is done by asking open questions and encouraging the subordinate to talk more about any issue that he or she mentions. and to surface any concerns. The manager helps the subordinate to investigate various dimensions of the problem.

Generating alternatives should be primarily the responsibility of the subordinate. After alternatives have been generated. 2nd Edition. if the subordinate says that others do not cooperate with him or her. the manager helps the subordinate to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. After investigating. The final and crucial stage of coaching is to communicate the intention to provide specific support to the subordinate in implementing the agreed-on action plan. Identifying the problem. Again. Action Planning In the action-planning phase the manager and the subordinate jointly plan specific action steps designed to solve the performance problem and to further the subordinate’s development. the manager should ask questions designed to help the subordinate to focus on the specific problem involved. 3. A number of alternatives may be discussed. the manager may ask questions to narrow the problem to the subordinate’s relationship with a few specific coworkers. Diagnosing. For example.2. 2. then questions may be asked to help the subordinate see what he or she does that hinders cooperation. such as training. and role clarification. to raise questions about the feasibility of the various alternatives. the coaching session may be brought to a close. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . job rotation. depending on various contingencies that might arise. open questions are useful: s s “Why do you think people are put off when you talk with them?” “Can you recall occasions when you received full cooperation? What might account for the cooperation you received on those occasions?” “What personal limitations of yours especially bother you?” s Ultimately this activity leads to the generation of several alternative causes of a problem. After considerable discussion the manager and the subordinate should create a contract detailing the support to be provided as well as the system to be used for monitoring the implementation and following up. increased responsibility. Searching. 3. the manager should offer suggestions only after the subordinate seems to have run out of ideas. These questions should both narrow the problem and generate information about it. Without diagnosis there is no basis for solving any problem. Decision making. 222 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Supporting. Three activities are involved in the action-planning phase: 1. The main function of the manager during searching is to help the subordinate think of alternative ways to deal with the problem. to choose the best alternative. and to finalize a step-by-step action plan. Investigating and identifying the problem should lead to diagnosing it. After the contract has been created. Both parties should be aware that the action plan may need to be revised after implementation has begun.

but is. if the subordinate has serious difficulty in dealing with the manager. The same principle holds true in a coaching situation: The subordinate should bear the main responsibility for determining what action to take. 2nd Edition. Good coaching sessions will ultimately fail to produce effective results if follow-up is inadequate. 5. Minimize arguments. But it is well worth The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. If the manager establishes the proper climate. Ensure adequate follow-up. 2. Encourage the subordinate to function independently. the subordinate may feel that the coaching was artificial and. in effect. When coaching is provided without having been sought. it may be of limited value and frustrating to the manager as well as the subordinate. may lose interest in improving the performance at issue. this approach goes a long way toward communicating interest in the subordinate. But when the manager fails to follow up. The manager should try to accept everything the subordinate says and build on it. it is a good idea to spend the first session addressing them. then another session can be scheduled for the actual coaching effort. intense task for a manager. Make sure that the subordinate is willing to learn from coaching. 4. When the manager follows up through informal exchanges. forced into it. a greater emphasis will be placed on performance coaching as a means of retaining employees. it requires patience and the use of several particular skills. CONCLUSION As organizations become more and more interested in avoiding costly turnover and initial job training. Acceptance is the best way of helping the subordinate to achieve self-realization. 3. Make sure that the subordinate understands the purpose of the coaching. such a discussion can lead to openness on the part of the subordinate. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 223 . Performance coaching is a difficult. However. One argument is sufficient to make both the manager and the subordinate defensive. he or she may not receive the manager’s message in the proper perspective. In such a situation the manager would do well to forget about performance coaching and instead talk to the subordinate about his or her interest or lack of interest in growth. consequently. a problem-solving session should be the first step. On some occasions a subordinate does not ask for performance coaching. It is important to allow subordinates to make their own decisions and thereby increase their autonomy.TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COACHING The following are useful tips for performance coaching that the HRD professional may want to share with managers: 1. If it is obvious that the subordinate has some misunderstandings. From time to time every manager should reflect on whether he or she is unintentionally fostering this kind of relationship. Sometimes subordinates are so loyal and their manager so protective that they become totally dependent on the manager. If the subordinate does not understand the purpose or has unrealistic expectations.

New Delhi. McClelland. Morrisey. 196210.V. Over time it can enhance an employee’s strengths. MA: Addison-Wesley. T. 6(2). New York: Alfred A. and the organization as a whole. Indian Educational Review. Reading. As they do so. thereby benefiting the employee. Reading.. 100-110.L. Harvard Business Review. Appraisal and development through objectives and results. Human resource development professionals can help managers to become acquainted with and acquire the skills that are essential to effective coaching. Pareek.V. G. L. Levinson. Harvard Business Review. and help the employee to realize his or her full potential. Sperry. 54(2). (1962). Power is the motivator. REFERENCES Flanders. 224 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (1970). Beyond freedom and dignity. Pareek. 11-46. 40. (1977). Behaviour modification in teachers by feedback using interaction analysis. (1974). U. 2nd Edition. Reading. (1971). MA: Addison-Wesley.C. the manager. Contact counseling. & Rao. U. (1976). U.the effort. ASCI Journal of Management. Interpersonal feedback: The transaction for mutuality.R. D. minimize weaknesses. Rao. L. MA: Addison-Wesley. (1971). H. Analyzing teacher behavior. & Pareek. & Hess. 69-75. 6(2). they will not only provide a valuable service to organizations but will also promote their own credibility. (1972). India: Learning Systems. B. Knopf. and in the future they will be asked to provide this help more and more often..F. T.. Skinner. Performance appraisal and review: Operating manual. (1978). N. A psychologist looks at executive development. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .

Although women no longer are confined to pink-collar or female ghetto jobs. prejudicial treatment is prohibited by law (42 U. Jeffrey Higginbotham. see the “Summary of the Civil Rights Act of 1991” in the “Reading” section of Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. In addition. the article describes the problem and outlines the legal conditions and liability for sexual-harassment claims. The article concludes with recommended managerial strategies for preventing and reducing the risk of a successful lawsuit alleging claims of sexual harassment. Defining Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is more easily recognized than defined. William Pfeiffer (Ed. Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. San Diego. 2005e-6). the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex (1987) specify the types of conduct that are considered sexual harassment. or fails to eliminate unfair treatment of women in the workplace. San Diego. This article is based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent court cases. However.C. Common sense and good management practice dictate that inaccurate stereotypes and notions of disparate treatment based on gender be eliminated. Female entry into male-dominated occupations can create situations in which the females are singled out and made to feel unwelcome solely because of gender.„‚ SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE: MANAGERIAL STRATEGIES FOR UNDERSTANDING. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 225 .” when an employer causes. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. 2000e-5.S. This article focuses on the problem of sexual harassment of women in the workplace. they often are stereotyped as incapable of performing the same quality or quantity of work as men. liability may ensue (42 U. HRD practitioners need to be knowledgeable about sexual-harassment issues. 2nd Edition. Beginning with a definition of sexual harassment. by J. Originally published in The 1990 Annual: Developing Human Resources. and John Sample SEXUAL HARASSMENT: AN OVERVIEW The workplace is changing. commonly referred to as “Title VII.).C. CA: Pfeiffer & Company.S. condones. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Because managers and executives look to human resource development (HRD) professionals for advice about such challenges. PREVENTING. Updated for Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. For information about later amendments to Title VII. work performance notwithstanding. AND LIMITING LIABILITY Joyce Lynn Carbonell. 2000e-2). 42 U.S.C. Such reactions pose a challenge to managers and executives.

” Harassment bears no resemblance to a normal sexual relationship. 1982). In other circumstances the threat may take the form of ongoing harassment that interferes with work by making the atmosphere intimidating and unpleasant. and its results support the findings of the earlier nonrandom surveys. Others define sexual harassment differently. or offensive working environment. Before attempting to change such behavior. 141). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 42 percent of the females reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment.” This definition avoids detailing the specific acts involved and summarizes that nature of sexual harassment as the unwillingness or failure to see women as coworkers or subordinates and the willingness to see them as sexual objects. describes sexual harassment as “unsolicited. 2nd Edition. p. or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating. These guidelines describe sexual harassment as follows: Unwelcome sexual advances.” Harassers in a group may not perceive their behavior as wrong or abnormal. nonreciprocal male behavior that asserts a woman’s sex role over her functioning as a worker. The Extent of the Problem Early studies of sexual harassment used nonrandom samples of large populations (Crull. requests for sexual favors. 149) defines sexual harassment as sexual activity that is “one sided. Safran (1976. Although women of any age can be 226 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. unwelcome. Other researchers have randomly sampled the workplace to investigate sexual harassment more accurately (Jensen & Gutek. p. or comes with strings attached. 1982. (p. 1976). v. 1976.Although these guidelines do not carry the force of law. for example. Quid pro quo harassment is the more easily recognized of the two because the threat is designed to produce a specific result. Hostile environment harassment is more difficult to define because it may stem from what Bem and Bem (1970) have called a “nonconscious ideology. seeing it more as a form of male prerogative. Safran. The United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) study of 23. they do “constitute a body of experience and informed judgment to which courts and litigants may properly resort for guidance” (General Electric Co. and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment. In the MSPB sample. Farley (1978. The courts have identified these two aspects respectively as quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment harassment. at 141-142). which would be free of the element of threat to one’s job or livelihood that is the hidden agenda of sexual harassment.000 employees in 1981 is the most comprehensive of such studies to date. Gilbert. hostile. the basic elements remain the same. (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual. managers must understand the extent and dynamics of such harassment. 33). Whatever definition one chooses for sexual harassment. Harassment constitutes a threat in that the victim may be required to comply sexually or suffer a consequence.

1985). the majority of women who were harassed were between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. even though those expectations are irrelevant or inappropriate to the job (Gutek & Morash. In general. and physical effects on harassment victims do not create sufficient interest for intervention. such as The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. behavior is evaluated differently for males and females. Serious forms of harassment. stereotypes. it extends to other expectations.” Harassment. Similarly. sex-role spillover involves behaviors such as expecting women to make and serve coffee. women have lower status and lower salaries than men. or to act “motherly” or “wifely. Included in this figure were costs for training new employees. Sexual behavior at work also will be viewed differently by males and females.” In contrast. As Hyde (1980) and others point out. social. The term “sex-role spillover” refers to the transfer of gender-role expectations to the workplace. were married. passive. Women traditionally were socialized to be polite. Thus. Konrad and Gutek (1986. Most harassers of women were older. On the average. 423) report that men may see the workplace as a “potential arena for sexual conquests.” Once such a role is established. Men and women are socialized to roles that attribute more power to men than to women. Results of the MSPB survey support earlier reports that sexual harassment has serious negative effects on the employees being harassed. Sexual harassment occurs because of socialization. Tangri. women may perceive sexual advances at work as potential threats because they are likely to be in subordinate positions to men (Gutek & Dunwoody. and were more likely to be coworkers than supervisors. were more likely to come from a supervisor than a coworker. men were socialized to be more aggressive. is not “normal. these effects translated into a cost of $267 million over a two-year period (MSPB. 1988). Burt.” nor is it related to sexuality. This coincides with the finding that 67 percent of men and only 20 percent of women report that they would be flattered by harassment (Gutek. Sexual harassment on the job is an inappropriate and exaggerated extension of stereotyped social roles. and Johnson (1982) describe this as personal vulnerability and note that dependence on the job greatly increases the incidence of harassment. Rather it is a question of power and control. and traditional organizational structures. For example. 1982). to run errands. p. and submissive. 2nd Edition. more single and divorced women reported being victims of harassment. Expectations of appropriate behavior also differ. however. the economic costs of harassment must. sexual harassment is labeled “normal. If the psychological.harassed. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 227 . the “double standard” persists at work. costs of treating the health problems of the harassed employees. Psychological and Sociological Explanations The traditional view of sexual harassment of women involves the belief that harassing behavior is biologically based—that men cannot help themselves. and the costs of absenteeism and lost productivity. 1987). however.

Unlike the hostile working environment situation. 1986). the plaintiff in a quid pro quo case must prove that the sexual demand was linked to a tangible. Organizations that are highly structured and stratified are more conducive to sexual harassment because they allow negative consequences for failure to acquiesce to sexual demands. & Johnson. City of Dundee. or permitting sexual harassment at work under two theories that parallel the EEOC guidelines. LEGAL CONDITIONS FOR SEXUAL-HARASSMENT CLAIMS Courts have imposed liability on employers and coworkers for participating in. combined with other sociocultural factors. Unfortunately sexual harassment is pervasive and affects both morale and productivity. quid pro quo liability can be found when the refusal to engage in a sexual act results in being fired. This organizational structure can be used to control women’s behavior in the workplace. condoning. term. Hostile environment liability is the second legal theory on which sexual harassment can be predicated. The converse also is true. makes women the more likely victims. Constitution. or having a job or benefit withheld. These two theories on which liability may be found have been referred to as quid pro quo liability and hostile environment liability (Katz v. Sexual harassment is both a way of reasserting traditional status relationships and a way to establish control through the threat of harassment. 1982). Those more vulnerable in the organization. harassment occurs when employers and coworkers confuse employment expectations with sex-role expectations and when males are threatened because females have invaded what they believe is their territory—the traditionally all-male jobs. Thus. As the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said: Sexual harassment which creates a hostile or offensive environment for members of one sex is every bit the arbitrary barrier to sexual equality at the workplace that racial harassment is to racial 228 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. City of Dundee. such as trainees or those who “need” their jobs. Burt. U. This fact. are more likely to be harassed. Individuals who must work in an atmosphere made hostile or abusive by the unequal treatment of the sexes are denied the equal employment opportunities guaranteed by law and the Constitution (Henson v. Hough. 1982. Dole. Amendment 14). 1983). Vermett v. condition. Quid pro quo liability is established when a sexual act is the prerequisite condition to employment. Instead there is more likely to be an attempt to put women in their place by restoring traditional roles. or any other job benefit. economic aspect of the harassed employee’s compensation.dressing in a sexually attractive way. spillover is less likely. promotion. women tend to do the same tasks as men. 2nd Edition. The organizational model of sexual harassment posits that institutions may provide a structure that makes harassment possible (Tangri. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 1982.S. denied promotion. or privilege of employment (Henson v. This type of spillover is most likely to occur in situations in which women work in low-status jobs. In high-status or male-dominated jobs.

at 2406). is not a defense to a sexual-harassment suit brought under Title VII” (Meritor Savings Bank v. Conduct is deemed unwelcome based on a “totality of circumstances” analysis. Vinson (1986). 1986. and the employee regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive” (Moylan v. City of Dundee (1982). Thereafter. was fondled repeatedly by him. and was raped forcibly on several occasions. the sexual harassment must have affected a term. 1982. City of Dundee. Third. note 7. Sexually harassing conduct is unwelcome if the “employee did not solicit it or invite it. Surely. experience. The Supreme Court disagreed. during the course of the meal. Second. third. The focus of a sexual-harassment claim “is whether [the employee] by her conduct indicated that the alleged sexual advances were unwelcome. First. 1986. over the course of the next several years. The Court stated that “the fact that sex-related conduct was ‘voluntary. the employee alleged that the supervisor made repeated demands for sexual favors. In Meritor Savings Bank v. This requires only “a simple stipulation that the employee is a man or a woman” (Henson v. the court noted that the plaintiff must establish the existence of four elements. Unwelcome Sexual Harassment The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of what constitutes unwelcome sexual harassment. was followed into the women’s restroom by him. The elements of a hostile environment case were most clearly spelled out in Henson v. 1986). To prevail in such a suit. Vinson. The employee at first declined. not whether her actual participation in sexual intercourse was voluntary” (Meritor Savings Bank v. a requirement that a man or woman run a gauntlet of sexual abuse in return for the privilege of being allowed to work and make a living can be as demeaning and disconcerting as the harshest of racial epithets (Henson v. condition. the employee must belong to a protected group. the harassment must have been based on sex and if it were not for the employee’s sex. Conduct alleged to be sexual harassment must be judged by a variety of factors. the supervisor suggested that they go to a motel to have sexual relations. or privilege of employment. Details of the second. the employee would not have been subjected to the hostile or offensive environment. the defendant bank averred that because the employee had voluntarily consented to sexual relations with her supervisor. her supervisor invited her to dinner. In defending the suit. City of Dundee. and fourth elements of a hostile environment case will be explored further in the sections that follow. a bank employee alleged that following completion of her probationary period as a teller trainee. as in all Title VII cases. 1982. but eventually agreed because she feared she might lose her job by refusing.’ in the sense that the complainant was not forced to participate against her will.equality. the employee must show that he or she was subject to unwelcome sexual harassment. Maries County. She alleged that she had sexual intercourse forty or fifty times with her supervisor. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . including the nature of the conduct. 2nd Edition. at 903). and actions of the „‚ 229 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Fourth. Vinson. at 902). the background. at 2406). the alleged harassment was not unwelcome and was not actionable.

An example of unwelcome conduct directed at an employee that would not have occurred but for that employee’s sex is found in Hall v. urinating in the women’s water bottles and in the gas tank of their work truck. 1982. . The offending and unwelcome conduct included instances of men’s using sexual epithets and nicknames. at 903).employee. the court concluded that the “incidents of harassment and unequal treatment .. refusing to perform necessary repairs on their work truck until a male user complained. The request or demand for sexual favors is made because of the employee’s sex and would not otherwise have been made. Conduct that is offensive to both sexes is not sexual harassment because it does not discriminate against any protected group (Bohen v. City of Dundee. managers should be prepared to take appropriate action when such conduct first appears to be offensive and unwelcome. Intimidation and hostility toward women because they are women can obviously result from conduct other than explicit sexual advances” (Hall v. Gus Construction Co. . 230 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. meeting this requirement is self-evident. Rather than risk making an incorrect. 1982). exposure of the men’s genitals or buttocks. at 904). . [the employee] would not have been the object of harassment” (Henson v. The lesson is to be alert and to stifle any conduct that threatens disparate treatment because of the employee’s sex.. repeated requests to engage in sexual activities. physical touching and fondling of the women. the plaintiff must show that but for the fact of her [or his] sex. and an objective analysis of how a reasonable person would react and respond in a similar work environment (Rabidue v. In finding the firm guilty of sexual harassment. However. 2nd Edition. Ind. 1986). at 1014). the physical environment of the workplace.. experience. (1988). Osceola Refining Co. Harassment Based on Sex Another element of a Title VII claim of sexual harassment requires that the harassment be directed against an employee based on the employee’s sex. City of Dundee. 1988. would not have occurred but for the fact that [the employees] were women. it is not always as clear in a hostile environment based on sexual harassment in which “. 1986. display of obscene pictures to the women. Henson v. Business managers and executives should be aware that any type of unwelcome conduct that is directed at an employee because of the person’s sex may constitute sexual harassment. City of Dundee. The prohibited criterion here is the employee’s sex. City of East Chicago. . and refusing to allow the women restroom breaks in a town near the construction site. 1982. the background. and actions of coworkers and supervisors. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the lexicon of obscenity used. “The essence of a disparate treatment claim under Title VII is that an employee . ad hoc determination of whether conduct is or is not unwelcome in each instance of alleged sexual harassment. In quid pro quo cases. . . Three female employees of a road-construction firm filed suit alleging sexual harassment by fellow male employees. Gus Construction Co. is intentionally singled out for adverse treatment on the basis of a prohibited criterion” (Henson v.

“[T]he language of Title VII is not limited to ‘economic’ or tangible discrimination. terms. conditions. courts have concluded that sexual harassment exists. Demands for sex acts in exchange for job benefits are the most blatant of all forms of sexual harassment. Washington-Greene County Branch. This is the case because one of the conditions of any employment is the psychological well-being of the employees (Meritor Savings Bank v. but a sexually hostile environment also can affect a condition of employment. a tangible or economic loss is readily established.C. Rogers v. was excessively beyond the bounds of job requirements. 1986) will not give rise to sexual-harassment liability. 1985). the sexual harassment “must be sufficiently severe or pervasive ‘to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment’” (Meritor Savings Bank v. 1983. Maries County. Vinson. It readily can be seen how quid pro quo sexual harassment constitutes sexual discrimination with regard to compensation. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. courts frequently conclude that sexual harassment exists when the offending conduct was intentionally directed at an employee because of the employee’s sex. Petrosky v. 1987) or genuinely trivial ones (Katz v. 1987. at 2406). Title VII provides a remedy. 1986. The phrase ‘terms. at 2404). First. When the psychological well-being of employees is adversely affected by an environment polluted with abusive and offensive harassment based solely on sex. Moylan v.Harassment Affecting a Condition of Employment Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sex with respect to “compensation. 1987. Second. When such conduct becomes so pervasive that the offending employee’s attention is no longer focused on job responsibilities and when significant time and effort are diverted from work assignments to engage in the harassing conduct. Isolated incidents (Fontanez v. Vinson. 1986. Sapp v. 1987. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 231 . 1986. City of Warner Robins. City of Seminole. Vinson.S. or privileges of employment. Aponte. or privileges of employment” (42 U. when a job benefit is denied because of an employee’s refusal to submit to the sexual demand. conditions. Sears.. EEOC. Roebuck & Co. In addition. Dole. conditions or privileges of employment’ evinces a Congressional intent ‘to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women’ in employment” (Meritor Savings Bank v. liability invariably follows when allegations of quid pro quo sexual harassment are proven (Arnold v. However. 1981). and detracted from the actual accomplishment of the job. 2nd Edition. Strickland v. LIABILITY FOR SEXUAL-HARASSMENT CLAIMS Theories of Liability At least three broad categories of conduct can be identified that generally lead to a legal finding of sexual harassment. 2000e-2). terms. without any economic or tangible job detriment suffered.

civil liability remedies are available against both the 232 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. In Arnold v. Epithets and derogatory comments were written next to the officer’s name on posted work and leave schedules. She was singled out for public reprimands and not provided the required notice. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Work schedules were manipulated to prevent the female officer from being senior officer on duty. 8. Superior officers occasionally refused to acknowledge or speak to her. False misconduct claims were lodged against her. and harassed. the court found sexual harassment in the case of a supervisor who treated his male employees with respect but treated his female employees with obvious disdain. Other officers interfered with her office mail and squad car. For example. 1987). sexual harassment was found when a supervisory employee stated that he had no respect for the opinions of another employee because she was a woman (Porta v. The offensive conduct that created a hostile working environment included the following: 1. 2. Based on this amalgam of proof. 7. and 11. The third category of finding sexual harassment generally results from conduct or statements that reflect the belief that women employees are inferior by reason of their sex or that women have no rightful place in the work force. 4. the court ruled that the female officer had indeed been subjected to an openly hostile environment based solely on her sex. Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment One of the primary goals of Title VII is to eliminate sexual harassment from the workplace (Arnold v. Rollins Environmental Services. 1987). The supervisor called women employees “Babe” and “Woman” in derogatory fashion and indicated his belief that women should not be working at all (DelGado v. Similarly. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex. Lehman.This principle can be illustrated by examining a law enforcement case. 1987). thus denying her command status. which far exceeded any claim of office camaraderie. 2nd Edition. 3. However. 10. The female officer was not provided equal access to station-house locker facilities. City of Seminole (1985). 1985. Attempts to set up the female officer in an illegal drug transaction were contemplated. 9. Obscene pictures were posted in public places within the police station with the female officer’s name written on them. a female police officer chronicled a series of events and conduct to which she was subjected because she was female. 6. A lieutenant told her he did not believe in female police officers. Members of the female officer’s family were arrested. threatened. City of Seminole. 5. to the extent to which it does not do so.

suggests. Because the supervisor is acting within at least the apparent scope to the authority entrusted to him by the employer when he makes employment decisions. the supervisor relies upon his apparent or actual authority to extort sexual consideration from an employee . MANAGERIAL STRATEGIES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE LIABILITY The potential for sexual-harassment allegations and lawsuits exists in any workplace. When a supervisory employee engages in quid pro quo sexual harassment. The best strategies to prevent and to reduce liability may be to establish policies and procedures that require the reporting of sexual harassment and to train supervisors and employees to recognize and resolve such problems within the organization. Further. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 233 . the employer is liable. Dole. In that case the supervisor uses the means furnished to him to accomplish the prohibited purpose . City of Dundee. all managers have an affirmative obligation to monitor the workplace to ensure that sexual harassment does not become a widespread practice. or constitutes sexual harassment. . . his conduct can fairly be imputed to the source of his authority (Henson v. . Managers and executives must not engage or participate in any conduct that encourages. In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986. . although it declined “to issue a definitive rule on employer liability. the demand for sex in exchange for a job benefit. When such conduct comes to the attention of any manager. If the sexually hostile working environment is created at the hands of coworkers.” Three such agency principles can be identified as follows: 1. s Apply survey research methods. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the Supreme Court ruled that employer liability would be guided by agency principles. Determine the extent and nature of harassment. including confidential interviews with a random sample of employees. As one court explained: In such a case.employer and the offending coworkers and/or their supervisors. Following is a list of suggested strategies for preventing sexual harassment and limiting liability: 1. . courts have held the employer liable (Katz v. In cases of sexual harassment by supervisory employees that creates a hostile working environment. These three principles suggest ways to prevent liability for sexual harassment. 2nd Edition. 1983). . 3. that is. Both are obvious matters of concern for business managers. 2. at 2408). at 910). he or she must take immediate corrective action. s Employ an internal personnel specialist or external consultant knowledgeable in EEOC matters. the employer will be liable if it knew or reasonably should have known of the harassment and if it took no remedial action. 1982.

s s Review personnel records. s A statement that harassment on the basis of sex is prohibited by law and is contrary to organizational policy. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 234 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Develop a written policy that includes the following components: s The legal basis in Title VII prohibiting discrimination in employment. 2nd Edition. Require corporate attorneys to become knowledgeable in EEOC matters. complainant. Be prepared to take appropriate action if incidents of sexual harassment are reported. and s An outline of consequences. disorderly. and offender as appropriate and necessary. s Identification of specific behaviors that constitute sexual harassment. 4. especially sexual harassment. with his or her consent. or disruptive conduct and for initiating necessary disciplinary action as follows: s Warn offenders that they must cease such behaviors or face disciplinary action. especially supervisors. Make supervisors responsible for keeping the workplace free of harassing. for excessive turnover rates for women. 3. manager. until the matter is resolved. in writing. abusive. if the offensive action continues. 5. s Report the offensive behavior to a supervisor. the offender. 2. Charge employees with the responsibility to report harassment or discriminatory practices using the following steps: s Warn the offending party that such behaviors are unwelcome and that they must stop. including progressive discipline and possible discharge. first verbally and then. or designated individual. Secure competent labor relations attorneys and/or external consultants who can advise corporate staff on preventive and rehabilitative strategies. and any other knowledgeable parties when a warning does not resolve the matter. s Any applicable state statutes that complement Federal laws and procedures. s Counsel the supervisor. s Develop a written record of testimony from the complainant. 6. Communicate the policy by posting it in the workplace and by making the policy a part of the orientation of new employees. especially exit interviews. s Remove the victim from the work environment. witnesses.

promotions. the contents and procedures of organizational policy. supervisors. including corrective action by higherlevel management. 8. in cases in which the supervisor has not taken appropriate action. s Identification of other employees in situations similar to that of the victim and action steps to make them “whole. and witnesses). or other opportunities lost because of the harassment. and s Assistance for complainants who choose to pursue action independently by filing directly with EEOC or equivalent human relations commissions at the state level or directly in court. and clarification of the scope of responsibility of supervisors. including back pay. 2nd Edition. the victim’s responsibility to communicate the “unwelcomeness” of harassing behavior to the offender and to others as prescribed in the policy. supervisors. and s Training for employees about understanding the organization’s policy against harassment.s s Refer the complainant and the file to the designated staff office responsible for employment relations/EEOC. or other opportunities lost because of harassment. s Corrective action steps to make the complainant/victim “whole” again as quickly as possible. and employees that clearly communicates information relevant to harassment. counseling and disciplinary skills related to resolving minor infractions. s Opportunity for a fair and impartial review by objective and responsible members of the organization.” including back pay. Provide training for managers. promotion. Components for accomplishing this objective include the following: s Training for supervisors about how to identify harassment. and employee rights and remedies. alleged offender. including options to file directly with EEOC or state commissions on human relations. Provide an impartial appeal or complaint procedure to supplement supervisory channels. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 235 . 7. such a procedure should provide for the following: s Timely notice to all parties involved (complainant. Initiate appropriate disciplinary action.

The higher the ratio of men to women in the work environment. The question to be asked is what reasonable people would have meant had they acted in a similar manner. Also important is whether the behavior was directed at the victim or simply overheard or seen. in the case of forced fondling or attempted rape. humiliated. 6. demoted. have had an ongoing feud. 3. Different types of harassing behaviors could be more or less serious depending on whether they happened publicly or privately. 4. the more likely harassment is to occur. for example. for example. 236 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. denied a promotion. Also to be considered is the nature of the interpersonal relationship. the effect of the act is what is important. It is generally assumed that the victim has some responsibility for communicating that harassing behavior is unwelcome. A single incident may not seem severe but may become more serious if repeated often and with persistence. it loses its “unwelcome” connotation. the victim has less responsibility to express objection. An evaluation should be made of the effects of the offensive behavior on the employee. physically injured. Blaming the victim for causing the harassment is a common pattern that should not be allowed. Victim’s provocation. Although no hard lines can be drawn. Public or private situations. 2nd Edition. Response of the victim. Men-women ratio. The behavior of the victim should be considered but not overweighed. conduct will tend toward one end of the continuum or the other. 9. or harmed in other ways. Effects on the victim. This responsibility varies with the severity of the conduct. Severity of the conduct. 10. Reasonable people usually expect different behaviors depending on the nature of the working environment. 8.Checklist for Assessing Complaints The following checklist may be of assistance in determining the extent to which sexual harassment has occurred: 1. it is important to assess whether or not these people generally have gotten along well. 5. Behaviors generally can be placed along a continuum ranging from mild to severe. What may be permissible from a coworker is inappropriate from supervisory personnel and may be more serious and more threatening because of the power relationship. or have been involved romantically. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Conduct appropriate in a factory may not be appropriate in an office. Number and frequency of encounters. however. if the complaining employee “provokes” such behavior. Actual intent is irrelevant. Relationship of the two employees. 7. Apparent intent of the harasser. it is important to assess whether or not the employee was embarrassed. For instance. Working environment. Employees expect higher standards of conduct from supervisors. The number of incidents and the time span between them is important. 2.

New York: McGraw-Hill. City of Seminole. New York: Working Women’s Institute. (1987). Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex. S. In A. San Francisco. Gutek.S. the Supreme Court has noted that “the mere existence of a grievance procedure and a policy against discrimination” (Katz v. that sexual harassment is neither appropriate nor tolerated. 2. & Bem. L. P. Sexual shakedown: The sexual harassment of women on the job. Arnold v. & B.R. V. The grievance procedure must effectively resolve problems.J. Supp.S. 1987). men and organizations. 1986) will not by itself insulate an employer from liability. Dole. General Electric Co. D. It is also the responsibility of managers and executives to display the behavior that they wish to see in their employees. The importance of this requirement cannot be overstated. 249-269). Aponte. Sexual harassment and male control of women’s work (Research Series Report No. 853 (E. (1970). Understanding sex in the workplace and its effects on men. Puerto Rico 1987).. Supp. & Dunwoody. Although the law alone cannot realistically dispossess people of their personal prejudices. 1983. (1978). Stromberg. v. 2000e-5.F.L. 429 U. CA: Jossey-Bass.J. CA: Brooks/Cole. 1604.C. and training to ensure that affirmative action is taken against sexual harassment. 799 F. pp. Larwood. In D.C. 29 C. Case study of a nonconscious ideology: Training the woman to know her place. Supp. Beverly Hills. The HRD practitioner shares this responsibility by providing information.11 (1987). women and organizations. Sex and the workplace: Impact of sexual behavior and harassment on women. It must be demonstrated. 460 (E.). Gutek (Eds. Belmont. (1985). Fontanez v. 42 U. 1986). CA: Sage. it can require that they not exhibit them in the workplace. Women and work: An annual review (Vol.S. Lehman. and human affairs (pp. 660 F. (1982). not only by policy but also by example. Bem (Ed. 2005e-6.D. Hough. City of Chicago. Vinson. Bem. Meritor Savings Bank v. B. 145 (D. DelGado v. 1986.).2nd 1180 (7th Cir. Crull.. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 237 . 42 U. Farley. Ind.CONCLUSION Managers must effectively resolve each instance of sexual harassment. B.S. 5). 614 F. Gutek. 665 F. 2nd Edition.. Vermett v. policy recommendations. 2000e-2. Gilbert. 89-99). L. Beliefs. Oklahoma 1985). The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Va. Not only is there a self-evident need to do so for conformance to sound management principles. 125 (1976).D. It is the responsibility of all business managers and executives to see that they do not. Bohen v. REFERENCES 42 U. attitudes.C.

& Morash. Government Printing Office. Washington-Greene County Branch. Vinson. I. Osceola Refining Co. (1980). Washington. 673 (W. Rogers v. (1982). 1988). Impact of work experiences on attitudes toward sexual harassment. Safran. (1982).Ct. 106 S. (1982).D.. Pa. 55-74. 709 F.S. 1016 (8th Cir. 627 F. MA: D. 654 F.S. Tangri.. Lexington.P. 792 F. Rollins Environmental Services.S. Constitution. M. sex role spillover. 2399 (1986). 1986).). & Gutek. Gus Construction Co. Journal of Social Issues. 1986). 45 F.2d. Katz v. Sexual harassment in the Federal Government: An update. B. Hough. 842 F.D. 1971).D. Vermett v. Supp. U. Jensen. Henson v. 1987). DC: U.D. and sexual harassment of women at work. Redbook. B. 1275 (D.Gutek. 422-438. Petrosky v. Supp. Cas. Heath. (1981). 46 F. 611 (6th Cr. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Hyde.2d 897 (11th Cir. Strickland v. 238 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.2d 746 (8th Cir. pp. 31. Merit Systems Protection Board. Va. Sexual harassment at work: Three explanatory models. B.... 587 (W. 1024 (E. 1983). Administrative Science Quarterly.E. Porta v. J. What men do to women on the job: A shocking look at sexual harassment. Journal of Social Issues. 1987). Roebuck & Co. Government Printing Office. Sex ratios.P. Journal of Social Issues. 1982). Sexual harassment in the Federal workplace: Is it a problem? Washington. Sears.2d 234 (5th Cir. 454 F. Georgia 1987). Half the human experience: The psychology of women (3rd ed. U. 2nd Edition. 1986). 655 F.2d 1010.2d 251 (4th Cir. A. Hall v. City of Dundee. Mich. 38. Rabidue v. Moylan v. Cas. 1987). November). U. 38. S.E. Supp. 805 F. B.. Meritor Savings Bank v. Sapp v. 38. City of Warner Robins.C.N.D. DC: U. Dole. Amendment 14. EEOC. (1976.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.. 149. Attributions and assignments of responsibility in sexual harassment. Maries County. Burt.. C. & Gutek. & Johnson. (1988). 121136. L. 1043 (M. 682 F. Konrad.S.J. (1988). 217-223. 33-54.

In addition. we suggest that a supervisory policy statement. In such a situation. is such a difficult one with which to deal. In addition. many of the supervisors were themselves the alleged harassers. sometimes employees view corrective discipline as harassment. Based upon the very nature of harassment. The Adapted with permission from the appendix to the “Sex in the Workplace” chapter of the Employment Law Sourcebook from the 1993 seminar entitled “The Changing Tide: Navigating Through Employment Laws Under The New Administration. the employee may not want to discuss that complaint with the immediate supervisor. Since the law prohibits harassment against any individual in a protected category and not just sexual harassment. the complaint might be against the immediate supervisor or others in authority in the employee’s department and thus. 2nd Edition. however. Many sexual harassment policies that we have been called upon to review have indicated that any employee. Attorneys at Law. P. and particularly sexual harassment. it does not appear to us that this would be the most satisfactory way to deal with complaints of harassment. Often the mere process of talking about the harassment complaint will stop whatever behavior is perceived as harassing. which is one of the reasons that this particular subject area. Chartered. found to be engaging in any form of sexual harassment will be dismissed. Florida 33601.SAMPLE EMPLOYER PROCEDURE AND POLICY STATEMENTS REGARDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE Memorandum to Employers Concerning Sexual Harassment Policy 1 Attached as Exhibit A is a proposed sexual harassment policy for adoption by Employer ABC and for possible inclusion in the Employer’s employee handbook. a first offense may not merit discharge.” presented by Alley and Alley. 205 Brush Street. also be distributed to the supervisors. at any level. it is important that a complaint of harassment come to the attention of top management where it can be appropriately handled. Box 1427. it is our recommendation that the Employer not limit this policy to sexual harassment but apply it to all forms of prohibited harassment and the policy has been drafted with this suggestion in mind. however. 1 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. many of the supervisors have been and in fact. We suggest that this policy be distributed to supervisors. The reason for this is that telling tasteless sexual or racial jokes may be found to be a form of sexual or racial harassment if an employee finds the joke to be offensive. We do not believe in such a strongly worded policy. there may be some blatant and demeaning behavior that will call for immediate dismissal. as well as to the Employer’s employees. We have found in many cases we have handled dealing with sexual harassment. all the facts should be clearly understood and without question and should not be simply one person’s word against the other.O. For example. particularly sexual harassment. some policies we have reviewed contain a traditional form of complaint procedure through the supervisory hierarchy. which sets forth the specific points intended for supervisors. In addition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 239 . However. such as the one attached as Exhibit B. Tampa. In addition. that while top management has never been aware of the complaint.

including sexual harassment. that in light of the accusation having been made. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . In addition to the attached supervisory policy statement (which is designed to be distributed to supervisors). ruled that absence of notice of the harassment by the employer does not necessarily insulate the employer from liability. in order to ensure that no complaints get “lost” in the complaint procedure. we are talking about sex. Once again. 2nd Edition. Inform the individual that the harassment must cease immediately and document the proceedings. document the proceedings. plus the Employer’s President. (c) Always follow up with the individual who made the complaint and assure them that corrective action has been taken and thank them for their interest and being willing to come forward. it is our recommendation that complaints of harassment. Request that they inform you if they believe they are retaliated against because of their complaint. After all. confront the party and inform them of the consequence of this continued action. 240 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The Supreme Court of the United States in the Meritor Savings Bank case involving a grievance procedure that required the grievant to first take the grievance to the frontline supervisor. In the same vein. Supervisors must be made to understand that the Employer will deal directly and forcefully with any individual who discriminates or retaliates against another individual for making a complaint or charge of prohibited harassment including sexual harassment. but only after the investigation is complete and harassment is confirmed: (a) Politely but firmly confront whomever is doing the harassing and state how you feel about his or her actions. (b) If harassment continues. supervisors must be made aware that the law prohibits any type of retaliation against an individual making a complaint or filing a charge against the Employer or other employees for prohibited harassment. whether they be supervisors. including sexual harassment. that future violations will be sufficient for discharge without warning. which would not indicate any belief in the truth of the accusations. we suggest that a written record of counseling be placed in the accused person’s personnel file. Therefore. The policy attached has been drafted with this thought in mind. If harassment is reported and confirmed by an appropriate investigation. the occasion was used to discuss and reaffirm the Employer’s harassment policies with the employee in question. be funneled through either of two specific individuals. If harassment is reported but an investigation is inconclusive regarding the fault of the accused. we suggest the following procedure be followed by the Employer. managers or personnel individuals. It should be recognized that females may well be reluctant to make complaints of sexual harassment to male personnel. but would confirm that while the accusations were not demonstrated to be true. males might be reluctant to make complaints of sexual harassment to female personnel. one a male and one a female.employer is strictly liable for the actions of its supervisors and is also liable for the actions of its employees when it is aware or should have known of the harassment and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.

in order for the Employer to deal with the problem. physical contacts or attentions. cornering. requests. handicap or marital status. Attorneys at Law. sexually-oriented comments. Creating a work environment that is intimidating. This means patting. unless it is welcomed. including sexual harassment. If any of us believe that he or she is being subjected to any of these forms of harassment. he or she must bring this to the attention of appropriate people in management. noncoercive interactions between employees. brushing up against. Box 1427. including men and women. the Employer prohibits any offensive physical. fondling. we must report such Adapted with permission from the appendix to the “Sex in the Workplace” chapter of the Employment Law Sourcebook from the 1993 seminar entitled “The Changing Tide: Navigating Through Employment Laws Under The New Administration. 2nd Edition. pregnancy. 205 Brush Street. telling “dirty jokes” that are unwanted and considered offensive. This includes comments about our national origin. Tampa. abusive or offensive because of unwelcome or unwanted conversations. pinching. kissing. that are acceptable to both parties are not considered to be harassment. religion. where such comments go beyond mere courtesy. Chartered. including conduct of a sexual nature. suggestions. Unwelcome requests or demands for favors. or believes he or she is being discriminated against because other employees are receiving favored treatment in exchange. including sexual favors. Normal. This includes: 1. based on race. age. including sexual advances. 3. body. disability or appearance. for sexual favors. Including Sexual Harassment 2 We at Employer ABC share a common belief that each of us should be able to work in an environment free of discrimination. or any other similar physical contact. Unwelcome or unwanted advances. Verbal abuse or kidding that is oriented toward a prohibited form of harassment. race. whether sexually oriented or otherwise related to a prohibited form of harassment. innuendos or actions that offend. color. and any form of harassment. for example. national origin. pleasant. demands.Sample Policy Statement Concerning Prohibited Harassment. hugging. 2. or any tasteless.” presented by Alley and Alley. Consequently. 2 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. written or spoken conduct regarding any of these items. including that which is sex-oriented and considered unwelcome. To help ensure that none of us ever feel we are being subjected to harassment. sex. 4. Florida 33601. including a sexual favor (this includes unwelcomed requests for dates) whether or not it is accompanied by an implied or stated promise of preferential treatment or negative consequence concerning our employment status. and in order to create a comfortable work environment. hostile. The very nature of harassment makes it virtually impossible to detect unless the person being harassed registers his or her discontent with the appropriate Employer representative. P. courteous. pressures or requests for any type of favor. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 241 . This includes subtle or blatant expectations. mutually respectful.O.

Tampa. Work effectiveness can decline. 205 Brush Street. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . including sexual harassment. and the registering of a complaint will in no way be used against the employee. Chartered. However. mutually respectful. 2nd Edition. Meanwhile. etc. that are acceptable to both parties are not considered to be harassment. nor will it have an adverse impact on the individual’s employment status. other employees or clients and customers. supervisors. P. consider whether their complaint might be justified. Including Sexual Harassment 3 In order to avoid any question about possible unlawful harassment of employees. the problem handled swiftly and as confidentially as feasible in light of the need to take appropriate corrective action. Box 1427. Attorneys at Law. STOP. today while the individuals are on good terms may be perceived in the future in a vastly different way when the individuals no longer are on those same good terms. whether the complaint is justified or not. as defined in the Employee Handbook. courteous. remember three things: 1. including sexual harassment. Consider whether your actions might be improper harassment of some kind. seek assistance from the Personnel/Human Resources Department. pleasant. Normal. including sexual harassment.) A record of the complaint and the findings will become a part of the complaint investigation record and the file will be maintained separately from the employee’s personnel file. It can create unacceptable stress for the entire organization. It is understood that any person electing to utilize this complaint resolution procedure will be treated courteously. including men and women. Morale can be adversely affected. Do not retaliate in any way against the employee who complained. courteous. noncoercive interactions between employees. Adapted with permission from the appendix to the “Sex in the Workplace” chapter of the Employment Law Sourcebook from the 1993 seminar entitled “The Changing Tide: Navigating Through Employment Laws Under The New Administration. Sample Supervisory Policy Statement Further Explaining Prohibited Harassment. Consider this occasion as a reminder of the problems involved in mixing business and pleasure. 3 242 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. of its employees by anyone—managers. If in doubt. Florida 33601. the Employer has chosen to prohibit harassment. Significant costs are involved and people harassing others will be dealt with swiftly and vigorously. Prohibited harassment. If you learn that another employee has made a complaint against you. including sexual harassment. 2. If you are engaged in any conduct that another employee finds offensive. Include at least one male and one female. please keep in mind that what may be perceived as normal.” presented by Alley and Alley. It can demean individuals being treated in such a manner.O.offensive conduct or situations to (the Personnel Manager/Human Resources Manager or the President. can be an insidious practice. The Employer will not tolerate prohibited harassment.

The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Review the Employer’s policy.3. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 243 . and be sure you understand it and fully comply with it at all times.

244 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .„‚ FROM CONTROLLING TO FACILITATING: HOW TO L. William Pfeiffer (Ed. and—in those who refuse to submit—rebellion and defiance also are linked to an overly controlling leadership style. and the information conveyed is less accurate. and carrying out these plans. Leaders made decisions and communicated them to subordinates. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. San Diego. The leader whose style is more controlling retains full responsibility for all work accomplished and decisions made. challenge. who carried them out. squelched creativity. Rees. and so on). 1991. This book offers complete guidelines on the facilitative style of leading a work team. In many organizations. San Diego. A team leader’s position along this continuum is determined by how much he or she shares the responsibility for decision making with subordinates. and motivation. team members selectively send the messages that they think will bring rewards and forestall punishment. Originally published in The 1992 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. backbiting. excessive submission and conformity. the functions and behaviors of the controlling leader differ greatly from those of the facilitative leader.). In contrast. with a controlling style at one end and a facilitating style at the other. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. planning to implement decisions. The reason for the trend is that today’s organizations. the role of a leader was to control his or her subordinates’ tasks and actions.E. A controlling.D. 2nd Edition. Traditionally. Gordon (1977) found that power struggles (gossiping. Because subordinates of a controlling leader are motivated by fear. Adapted from How to Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills by F. the leader whose style is more facilitative shares these responsibilities with team members. Fran Rees Styles of leadership can be placed on a continuum. have found that employees are more motivated and productive if they are allowed to share in the plans and decisions that affect them and their work. in fact. The frequency of upward communication is reduced. authoritarian style of leadership can have adverse effects on a work team’s communication effectiveness and morale. This leader tries to control the tasks and output of the team. the trend is away from controlling leadership and toward facilitative leadership. As depicted in Figure 1. withdrawal (both physical and psychological). however.A. in which leaders and subordinates share the responsibilities of making decisions. with their emphases on teamwork. they often are reluctant to reveal problems to or share opposing opinions with their leader.

Controlling leaders regard power as something to be hoarded and to be shared only cautiously. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. THE LEADER. In contrast. Controlling Versus Facilitating Styles of Leadership POWER. and knowledge are fully utilized. team members’ talents. Under facilitative leaders. something that even can grow when spread among team members. to give power to their teams means that they themselves must lose power. experience. Both types of leaders produce results. Teams led by facilitative leaders operate in winwin situations: They complete tasks by working together. teams led by controlling leaders operate in what ultimately are win-lose situations: As perceived by the leaders. regard power as something to be shared. controlling leaders actually are at odds with their teams. Because responsibility for implementing the decision is shared. The difference is that facilitating leaders often produce better results because their subordinates are empowered and do not simply follow orders. Thus. 2nd Edition. team members are more likely to support decisions because they have had input in the decision-making process.Use authority to get things done Empower others to get things done Figure 1. The results produced by work teams led by such leaders often are based on the leader’s own abilities. on the other hand. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 245 . Facilitative leaders. AND THE WORK TEAM Controlling and facilitating leaders view power in different ways.

2nd Edition. their performance standards. considering the organizational culture and any existing constraints. and plan accordingly. and people need time to learn new ways of working together. Change is a process. Do not attempt to revamp an entire system at once. Following are some additional principles that will help leaders to make the transition to facilitation: s Make one or two changes at a time. s s s s s s s 246 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. their patterns of interaction with subordinates. Leaders who effectively implement change ensure that they and their teams have plenty of opportunities to practice new behaviors. Allow time for changes to solidify. Change is difficult and even threatening for some. Do not let time go by without moving in the desired direction. their work habits. they will not change.BECOMING A FACILITATIVE LEADER: BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR INITIATING CHANGE Leaders who wish to move from a controlling to a facilitative style must alter their leadership styles. not a decision. periodic milestones toward the goal. Change is a process—sometimes a very long and tedious one. Keep the goal in mind: to increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Have patience with people. Leaders who are making the transition to a more facilitative approach will do well to remember three principles of change: s s s Change takes time. Acknowledge that one person alone cannot change the organization. Do not overestimate your power and influence. Strive to reach planned. Leaders seeking to change must acknowledge the vast effort that change requires and must not give up when more time and practice than anticipated are necessary. otherwise. Be realistic but positive about what can be accomplished. Reward people’s efforts to change. Change is never easy. Experience and practice are essential in order to become comfortable with new behaviors. Use action plans and regular evaluations as tools to move toward the goal. It is important for leaders to realize from the outset that these changes will not necessarily be easy or smooth. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and their norms of relating to team members.

The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and creates confusion and disorientation. even when the change is beneficial to them. his or her motives initially will be suspect. Therefore. the leader can make the task manageable. s s What To Expect It is human nature to resist change. subordinates may act almost antagonistic at first. In fact. and other resources that already exist and that can help in the change process. Make an effort to listen without interrupting. The changes to be made may seem enormous and impossible. Take a course in listening. Break each large change down into small steps. Ask a friend to tell me when I interrupt and when I appear to demonstrate good listening skills. however. subordinates may not be accustomed to expressing their feelings and ideas to him or her. Plan to use these strengths to advantage when beginning to make changes. They are somewhat fearful and distrustful. support systems. 2nd Edition. By breaking up the change process into smaller chunks. challenges their beliefs about themselves and their world. It may be helpful in such situations for the leader to remember how subordinates interact with controlling leaders. it is unrealistic for a leader to expect others to welcome his or her new persona without reservations or to be supportive immediately. 2. even when the change is for the better. The following outline of steps will help the leader to translate the conceptual change process into a series of concrete. he or she might create the following list of action steps toward the goal: s Ask at least three questions of subordinates this week. Furthermore. Subordinates may avoid saying anything controversial. verifiable tasks and goals: 1. Change disrupts people’s lives. 3. List all desired changes in the team’s functioning or in the style of leadership used. Determine the strengths. When a formerly controlling leader begins to draw people out and to listen. Think in terms of long-term improvements—many months to several years.A PROCESS FOR TRANSITION Some leaders faced with the prospect of change may feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation and may feel that they do not know where to begin. unless the leader has been a good listener in the past. For example. or the particular situation may not seem applicable to the process described in this article. they have learned not to be the bearers of bad news or to disagree. if the leader’s goal were to become a better listener. This phenomenon may be quite frustrating to the leader who is making an honest effort to change. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 247 .

7. Participation and consensus also encourage open communication. If the leader uses this model.D. the following ten essentials of teamwork will be met: 1. getting people involved.D. 2nd Edition. stated purpose meets the need for common goals. 248 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Participation and consensus help to maintain the individual team members’ selfesteem.E.E. and should take notes. 4. Effective communication in teamwork includes an avenue for constructive conflict resolution. they will discuss these issues at a later date. Empowering members to participate facilitates the high levels of interaction and involvement that team members need.D. This deluge of negativity may be difficult to deal with. Aim for consensus.A. 9. Participation and consensus also help to build mutual trust. reaching consensus on important items.A. 5. 8. HOW TO L. 10.E. and paying attention to both tasks (the work) and relationships (the team). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . together. The L. model will ensure that there is power within the team to make decisions. Empower to participate. Direct the process.A. The leader should try to remain open to what often are valuable criticisms. Leaders can use a simple four-step model to ensure employee participation and to increase productivity: Lead with a clear purpose. Paying attention to all four parts of the model provides the leadership that any team needs. model includes key leadership functions: setting clear goals and objectives. The leader should avoid making promises during the listening session. Active listening is listening without becoming defensive and without sermonizing or judging. Leading with a clear purpose and directing the process ensure that the leader will pay attention to both process and content. 2. 6. Using all four parts of the L.Other people may welcome the solicitation of their feelings and opinions and may vent many of their frustrations all at once. 3. Leading with a clear. He or she should explain that the purpose of the listening session is to look for opportunities to involve the team members in plans and decisions and that. should listen actively. Good teamwork includes a healthy respect for differences among team members. asking for clarification or examples when necessary.

goals must be challenging. the leader must publish the goals and display them for all team members to see. team members will not be truly empowered if they are not allowed to participate in important decisions that will affect them and their work. the leader must begin to act as facilitator by delegating the responsibility for determining how goals will be met. Therefore.D. and 95 percent by the end of the second quarter of next year. positive. the leader might say. presentations. the leader can choose to make a The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the important thing is to display visual reminders to keep the goals in front of everyone. and realistic. the leader should set realistic. “In light of our goal of 95-percent on-time deliveries. The leader should refer to the goals often in memos. 90 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. 93 percent by the end of the first quarter of next year. and meetings. or to permit. to authorize. the goals should be used to guide decisions. The leader can opt for a consultative decision: He or she can solicit team members opinions and then make an independent decision. The team’s progress should be tracked and recorded. the leader must empower the people in his or her team to work toward achieving the goals. First. Next. To empower means to give power or authority. Empower To Participate After goals have been established and published. People will not remember the goals if they are not discussed and referred to often. Although the goals themselves may be motivators. to enable.A. Over time. The milestones should be prominently displayed and should have deadlines whenever possible. To be motivating. For example. if a subordinate came to the leader with a problem or suggestion. the team that wishes to achieve 95-percent on-time delivery could post the following milestones: s s s s 85 percent by the end of the third quarter. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 249 . Leaders can involve their teams in the decision-making process in two ways. to monitor its own progress. Whenever possible. Lead with a Clear Purpose When a person leads with a clear purpose. model. and to plan its own celebrations. A leader can bring power and focus to a team’s goals in several ways. For example. team-oriented goals that support organizational goals. The goals could be posted in a meeting room on flip charts or posters. what do you think is the best solution?” The leader should work with the team to identify milestones that will indicate progress toward the team’s goals. 2nd Edition. Team-oriented goals apply specifically to an individual team. Alternatively. he or she uses goals to motivate the team. Milestones achieved should be acknowledged and celebrated. the leader should allow his or her team to set its own goals. they are necessary because organizational goals are not “close to home” enough to motivate a team.E.The following paragraphs offer a more detailed analysis of the L.

Two skills are therefore critical for good facilitators: listening and asking questions. In addition to knowing how to listen. even if only for a few minutes at the coffee machine. the leader can choose to remain neutral and facilitate the decision-making process or to participate actively in the decision. including his or her comfort with delegating the decision. The leader’s choice of decision style will depend on several factors. There are many other ways of empowering people to participate. the leader may decide to redesign jobs and procedures so that team members will have to interact in order to complete their work. The listener also can ask the speaker to provide more information in order to clear up confusion. A good leader-facilitator. by the surrounding environment. Effective or active listening is required in order to make sure that one has accurately heard what the other person has said. opinions. and maintaining eye contact. however. Stopping by a person’s office for the sole purpose of getting his or her opinion is particularly empowering for that person. Another important step toward the empowerment of team members is for the leader to solicit their ideas. In general. in which the team members must reach consensus on the decision. it is best to give the speaker a chance to talk and to finish what he or she wants to say before jumping in with questions. The listener can repeat a brief version of what he or she thought was said (paraphrase) in order to check the accuracy of the interpretation. To listen actively. an active listener needs to know when to ask questions to clarify the speaker’s message. remaining quiet without restless movements. eye contact. Before making a decision. In a consensus decision. tone of voice. and reactions regularly without judging or punishing them. or by difficulties that the speaker may have in getting his or her message across. Leaders usually are busy. Body language. The listener also must postpone judgment of the message until he or she has heard it in its entirety. The leader also can identify which types of decisions he or she will make and which types of decisions the team or team members will make. It means not thinking about what one is going to say while the speaker is talking. and other signals provide the listener with additional information about the speaker’s message. 250 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. his or her ability to avoid overinfluencing the group. not every team member must be involved with every decision. 2nd Edition. and some do not have much opportunity to interact with their subordinates. The active listener must indicate his or her receptiveness and attentiveness to the speaker’s message with body language: maintaining an open posture. nodding the head.consensus decision. “Who will we depend on to carry out this decision?” The people named should at least be consulted before a decision is made. the listener must observe the speaker as well as hear the words being said. For instance. the leader’s need for involvement in the implementation of the decision. Of course. and the team members’ wishes. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . will make time for others’ opinions and ideas. Active listening also requires that the listener not be distracted by others. the leader should ask. Facilitative leaders encourage participation by listening more than talking and by asking more than telling.

A leader who empowers his or her team to make decisions must then support the team’s decisions. even if he or she was not involved in the decision-making process. Instead. Use of this technique does not mean that the leader has no opinion or that he or she is abdicating the leadership role. do not wait too long after the event or behavior has occurred. and by giving encouragement. Another way that leaders can encourage participation is to give teams regular opportunities (probably at team meetings) to assess themselves. Following are some guidelines for giving praise: s s Be specific about what is being praised. by “running interference. In addition. by offering assistance. 2. True honesty from subordinates can be achieved only without the leader’s becoming influential or defensive. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 251 . but not so often that it becomes expected or meaningless. Thank the person. Ask questions or paraphrase to clarify what was said. 2nd Edition. Leaders can teach team members to measure their performance. Praise in a timely fashion. 3. Remaining neutral frees others to express their honest opinions. Praise regularly. By doing so. one of the best ways of empowering others to participate is to listen without having the final say. Are good relationships being built among team members? Is there a spirit of cooperation? Are members working out differences in acceptable ways? What team norms (ground rules) are working? What norms need to be changed or added? Last. a team should discuss both its progress toward goal achievement and its success at functioning as a team. The leader can demonstrate support for a decision by expressing positive feelings about the decision. when someone comes to the leader for an answer or decision. the leader will be tempted to offer an opinion—especially if others ask for it. Positive reinforcement includes watching for things that people are doing well and letting them know that their efforts are appreciated. In an assessment.After one has solicited someone else’s opinion. s s The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. However. Listen actively. At times. Another empowering technique is to avoid letting others rely on the leader for answers. Separate praise from problems or concerns. leaders must become proficient at giving genuinely positive reinforcement to their team members. Instead. the leader’s opinion has clout and can change others’ perspectives.” by explaining the team’s actions and goals to upper management. the leader should ask what he or she thinks. the leader gives others permission (empowers them) to take on some of the leadership role. it encourages others to solve their own problems. the message of praise may get lost if it is sandwiched between problems. and resist having the last word. one must follow through with a facilitative response as outlined in the following steps: 1.

An effective leader will use various techniques. the third step in the L. Ridgefield.D. model can help leaders to become less controlling and more facilitative. not just as a final step. such as giving clear directions. which has been found to promote better work-team results and more empowered and motivated employees. Conflicts are bound to occur. model requires experience in working with groups and knowledge about the group process.E. are helping organizations to achieve these goals.D. and conflicts to the surface as possible and then to get people to find the approach that best meets the needs of the organization and of the team members. to help the team to accomplish its goals and objectives.A. it is the leader’s responsibility to act on the decision or to empower the team to act on it.E.E. model presented in this article can be viewed as an outline for progress toward an empowered.E.A. and suggesting alternative processes. intervening to keep the team on track. The goal should be to strive for consensus in all interactions. of course. organizations must strive continually to find ways to be more productive. The role of the leader in building consensus is to bring as many ideas. model.E.D. facilitative organization: It provides ample opportunity for employees to take part in the management of their organizations and gives leaders a critical role to play in making this happen. REFERENCE Gordon. but the leader should regard them as natural and should help the team to work through them.A.A.Aim for Consensus In this. T.A. 252 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .): The no-lose way to release the productive potential of people. and more adaptable to change and progress. After the team has reached consensus. CONCLUSION Use of the L. model and lists key tasks that must be performed by the leader and by team members. Leader effectiveness training (L.D. led by facilitative. Direct the Process The last step in the L. 2nd Edition. more competitive. In today’s volatile marketplace.D.E. challenging. Empowered work teams. and enabling leaders. (1977). Table 1 presents the important group needs met during each step of the L. Such work teams can achieve and succeed because of their leaders. whose skills of facilitation help them to blend different views into consensus so that their teams can achieve their goals. opinions.T. CT: Wyden. the leader helps the members of his or her team to move toward general agreement. The L. The leader can choose either to use the team’s input to make a decision or to let the team’s decision stand.

Using the L. etc.E. 2nd Edition. Model Leader Functions Lead with a clear purpose s s Group Needs Met Common goals Attention to content s Leadership s s Leader Tasks Set boundaries Interpret organizational goals. prioritization. s Facilitate team’s setting of its own goals s Evaluate and track progress toward goals Ask questions Listen s Show understanding s Summarize s Seek divergent viewpoints s Record ideas s s Team-Member Tasks Ask questions to test own understanding s Participate in setting goals for team s Help leader track and evaluate progress toward goals s Empower to participate High level of involvement of all members s Maintenance of selfesteem s Leadership s Respect for differences s Trust s Contribute ideas from own experience and knowledge s Listen to others s Build on others’ ideas s Consider others’ questions s Ask questions s Think creatively s Aim for consensus Constructive conflict resolution s Power within team to make decisions s Leadership s Trust s Use group-process techniques (brainstorming.) s Ask questions s Listen s Seek common interests s Summarize s Confront in constructive way s Focus on common interest and goals s Listen to and consider others’ ideas s Make own needs known s Disagree in constructive way s Direct the process Attention to process Leadership s Trust s s Give clear directions Intervene to keep team on track s Read team and adjust s Remain neutral s Suggest alternative processes to help team achieve goal s s Listen Keep purpose in mind s Stay focused on object s Use own energy and enthusiasm to help process along s s The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.Table 1. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 253 .D.A. problem solving.

San Diego. Among the startling projections were the following: White males will account for only 15 percent of the 25 million people who will join the work force between the years 1985 and 2000. The remaining 85 percent will consist of white females. however. immigrants.” as the media have dubbed recent refugees. and physical ability— so are the work forces of many countries. though. These immigrants made up the great “melting pot” of the American culture. 1991. San Diego. work force is rapidly changing in all kinds of ways—in age mix. they worked toward assimilation and toward adopting mainstream American values. Before World War I and after World War II. William Pfeiffer (Ed. as a result of the social and political changes of the Sixties and Seventies. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . cultural background. which was commissioned by the United States Department of Labor.K. that diversity is not an exclusively U. Hispanic. there are conflicting values among workers and. In the past. there was less variety in the values that governed organizational operations and work performance. education. The “New Americans. It is important to note. Kogod.S. things are different. issue. racial background. This study offered predictions about changes that will occur in the demographic composition of the United States population and work force by the year 2000.). Kanu Kogod INTRODUCTION: THE IMPACT OF DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE In 1987 the Hudson Institute released Workforce 2000: Work & Workers for the Twentyfirst Century (Johnston & Packer. however. Such changes are having and will continue to have a significant impact on organizational environments.„‚ MANAGING DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE S. and minorities (of both genders) of black. the black population will grow by 28 percent. 2nd Edition. because of increasing diversity. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. there were massive waves of immigration to the United States.S. The Hispanic and Asian populations will each grow by 48 percent. and Asian origins. conflicting messages about how to do things. 1987).6 percent. Adapted from A Workshop for Managing Diversity in the Workplace by S. Now. A brief historical perspective helps to clarify these developments and their impact. Now. gender composition. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. In fact. Changing demographics. Just as the U. when the employees of an organization represented much less diversity. and the white population will grow by only 5. tend to hold onto their own languages and customs and try to maintain their distinct places within the overall pattern of the United States. therefore. 254 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the now-famous study of the work force of the future. it is projected that sometime in the next century non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority status in the United States. Originally published in The 1992 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J.

and to promote from within. It is based on the values and practices of a society. that information includes a definition of each person’s role. are the standards that we use to determine whether something is “right” or “wrong. and amusement. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The greatest difficulty arises in a relationship when a person believes that “Only my culture makes sense. meaning that one person avoids the other or the two people avoid each other. Common ethnocentric reactions to a differing world view are anger. and then this process carries over to the ways in which they perceive themselves and the world.along with economic factors and the high costs of turnover. 2nd Edition. collisions occur. HOW CULTURAL COLLISIONS DEVELOP Culture is defined as a shared design for living. Each person learns who the other is and what he or she wants. it is increasingly important for employees to learn to understand one another and to work together effectively and harmoniously. We all develop world views—simplified models of the world that help us make sense of all that we see. and represents the ‘right’ and logical way to behave. information is shared. have convinced organizations that they need to make efforts to retain employees.” At the beginning of any relationship. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 255 . Values. Isolation. shock. When two ethnocentric people from different cultures interact. intragroup conflict. When ethnocentric thinking pervades an organizational culture. We perceive our world views as making sense if they are consistent with our society’s values and our abilities to anticipate and interpret the events we experience. hear. The person whose expectations are not met may even attribute that failure to deliberate efforts on the part of the other person to disregard the injured person’s values. But when these expectations are not met. which vary from culture to culture and from person to person. and unsatisfactory customer relations. espouses the ‘right’ values. the result can be exclusion of some. a group of people who interact together over time. the shared information includes details about the product or service that the customer wants. there is little chance that they will achieve an understanding of each other’s world views. Often people do not state their expectations of each other. favoritism toward others. to develop them. In a work setting. In the latter relationship. People absorb culture through the early process of socialization in the family. Thus.” This mode of thinking is called ethnocentrism. The outcome of a cultural collision may be any of the following: s s Termination of the interaction or the relationship. This sharing of information occurs not only within and across work teams but also between a service provider and a customer. and do. sometimes they are not even aware that such expectations exist. The degree to which information is shared and the amount of information shared vary greatly from relationship to relationship.

or Accommodation. Encourage constructive communication about differences. The person who responds to interactions with cultural relativism rather than ethnocentrism is able to see alternatives and to negotiate with another person on the basis of respect for cultural differences.s An insufficient sharing of information about expectations. people must be encouraged to honor multiple perspectives and to incorporate this approach into their quest to meet the fundamental needs of the organization. The opposite of ethnocentrism is cultural relativism. Develop consciousness and acceptance of your own cultural background and style. s s s s s 256 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Provide employees who are different with what they need to succeed: access to information and meaningful relationships with people in power. in which one person strives to accommodate the other’s expectations or both people accommodate. try to adapt to the style of the person with whom you are communicating. 2nd Edition. the HRD professional can assist them in analyzing and enhancing the organizational climate. Learn about other cultures. In an organization the desired results of a cross-cultural encounter are synergy and pluralism combined with an appreciation of and contribution toward the company’s goals and objectives. Acting in a consultative role. and strive toward negotiation or accommodation. Acknowledge your own stereotypes and assumptions. Educating Managers About Diversity Many organizations are beginning to recognize the impact of a diverse work force and are offering their managers tips on how to manage diversity: s s s Understand that cultural differences exist. the attempt to understand another’s beliefs and behaviors in terms of that person’s culture. we must suspend ethnocentric judgments. and implementing action plans to turn their vision into reality. which may lead to different or lowered expectations in future interactions. Treat people equitably but not uniformly. THE HRD PROFESSIONAL’S ROLE IN MANAGING DIVERSITY The human resource development (HRD) professional can help managers in their efforts to deal with diversity effectively. begin to question why particular things are done. creating a vision. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Be flexible. In order for these results to occur. determining strategies. s If we are to manage diversity effectively.

identifying. and other critical organizational functions. normality and oddity. and lay out each other’s cultures like maps to new territories. a manager can best deal with diversity by recognizing. which was developed to help managers cope with the personnel changes occurring in organizations. they are much more easily talked about than acted on. and multiple perspectives can flourish only when curiosity about others is welcomed and the differences among people are honored. superiority and inferiority. If this encouragement is not given. When we describe people in greater detail instead of less detail.1 Diversity training for managers is essential if an organization is to deal successfully with diversity. this silence robs organizational members of the opportunity to develop valuable insights about one another that would enhance their effectiveness on the job and enrich their lives. But. refer to the following diversity products offered by Pfeiffer & Company: Diversity Awareness Profile (an instrument in both employee’s and manager’s versions). In this kind of climate. it is important for managers to encourage people to express their unique identities. echoing the new line of thought on the value of diversity. which denied differences and instead promoted the idea that acknowledging differences implied judgments of right and wrong. For additional information on this topic. it is a good idea to explain that greater differentiation between people can actually break down the mind-set of prejudices. These programs were based on the assumption that openly identifying differences was equivalent to opening a Pandora’s box of prejudice and paranoia. people may remain silent. Managers also should be made aware that employees are often hesitant to make their individual perspectives known. Kanu Kogod offers a complete workshop design for training managers. 2nd Edition. and Managing Diversity Videocassette and Leader’s Guide. The tips on managing diversity are not enough. The training not only must help managers to understand the issues involved but also must enable them to apply that understanding to new situations that arise. When communication is understood and approached in this manner. strategic planning. having access to multiple perspectives is essential to creative problem solving. The organizations that promote this view will not A Workshop on Managing Diversity in the Workplace by S. It is this fact that has given rise to diversity training. people come to see that any communication—whether between employees or between an employee and a customer—is a multicultural event. Analyzing and Enhancing the Organizational Climate Diversity training can have little impact unless the organizational climate honors and supports cultural differences. “We do nobody any favors by denying cultural differences. Also. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 257 . and discussing differences.” If managers seem skeptical. It is particularly important to provide a safe training climate in which managers can feel free to practice new skills and culture-sensitive behaviors.As these tips point out. Workforce America! Managing Employee Diversity as a Vital Resource. we find more qualities in them to appreciate. 1 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. define. Thus. This approach represents a departure from Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) programs. the parties involved can investigate. as one consultant said.

2 258 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” or “That’s not my fault. being treated in the same respectful manner. Am I paid what I think I deserve? 3. a conference held in New York on October 1. Ltd. Love your Work.only provide powerful guidance for their employees but will also increase customer satisfaction. and the work setting.” (This statement emphasizes the “Love your Neighbor” aspect of the company’s strategy as well as the value that Ricoh places on diversity. Hiroshi Hamada.” At Ricoh quality means identifying problems and finding solutions. The philosophy also expresses the organization’s strategy: “Love your Neighbor. Do I have the time and tools to do my job? 2. but top management is held accountable. Hamada’s oral presentation. 1991. at Ricoh Company.” “That’s not possible. The HRD professional can help managers to identify these forces and the barriers to managing diversity that characterize the organization. 1989. as an employee. These values and beliefs. An employee perceives the organizational climate as supporting cultural differences if he or she can answer “yes” to four questions:2 1. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . during The Quality Forum VII. are shaped by experience.. at the Best of America Conference sponsored by Lakewood Publications. For example.” It is this kind of transformation that the HRD professional can help an organization’s management to devise and implement. The quotes are taken from Mr. and principles for quality is derived from an address given by Ricoh’s president.” “You own any problem that arises. Love your Country. which create a climate that employees perceive as either supportive or not supportive of diversity. historical tradition.” Following are the principles for quality that Ricoh stresses to its employees: s “All people around you are your customers.3 a Japanese organization.) “Quality cannot be built alone. Am I. Does the organization mean what it says about the importance of diversity? 4. political circumstances. the corporate philosophy stresses quality while recognizing that people are the key to attaining it. attributes the organization’s success in linking philosophy and strategy with performance to a “transformation in human consciousness. It is taboo to say to a customer “That’s not my problem. Hiroshi Hamada. finances.” s s Ricoh’s president. 3 The discussion of Ricoh’s philosophy. 2nd Edition. economic status. in which the organization wants customers to be treated? Every organization has a unique system of values and beliefs. These questions have been adapted from a presentation given by Ron Zemke in January. competitive position. strategy. Everyone is responsible for quality.

are the ones who must start the process of identifying and removing barriers as well as modeling the desired behavior with regard to diversity. p. 10). who will do them and by when. what obstacles might stand in the way of proposed changes. 2. consultants. The HRD professional needs to emphasize that the goal is to create a process—one that continually moves the organizational culture closer to welcoming multiple perspectives and tapping into the talents of all employees. They are comfortable with differences among people. Therefore. directive approach are likely to be barriers. It is a good idea to develop an action plan for each strategy. with multiple perspectives. “Managing diversity is a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees. its managers must understand that they can function either as powerful change agents or as barriers. Determining Strategies. who could provide help (for example. „‚ 259 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the next step is to help management create a vision for managing diversity in the organization—the way things could be in an ideal situation. they welcome it as a contributor to the organization’s success. This process yields a systematic plan to follow and increases the likelihood of success. communicating openly and ensuring employee involvement in problem solving and in making decisions about how work is to be done. Then the managers compare the way things could be with the way things are and assess the disparity between these two. determining what specific tasks need to be done. Facilitative managers differ from their controlling counterparts in several ways that propel an organization toward an effective process for managing diversity: 1. Nonmanagerial employees cannot be expected to initiate this behavior.” When an organization is attempting to create such a process. trainers. Unlike controlling managers. and how to remove those obstacles or diminish their impact. not just as tools to get the job done. they work with employees. and with diverse work styles. 2nd Edition. Managers. they spend the time and effort required to listen to and evaluate points of view that are different from their own. and Implementing Action Plans Once the organizational climate has been analyzed and barriers identified. They view both people and tasks as important to the organization. They see employees as resources who can help to achieve business objectives. or internal experts on various subjects). 3. Managers who use a facilitative approach are likely to be effective change agents. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . managers who use a controlling. As Roosevelt Thomas ( 1991. Next the managers approach the issue from a problem-solving standpoint and determine what strategies to use to move the organization in the direction of the ideal. They find rewards in managing people as well as in accomplishing tasks. states.Creating a Vision. They do not simply accept diversity as a reality that must be dealt with to avoid cultural collisions or lawsuits. the primary spokesperson for this new paradigm. as the people with the greatest power in any organization.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . or a mentor. CONCLUSION Organizations that recognize the value of diversity and manage diversity effectively have realized these benefits: s Diversity brings a variety of ideas and viewpoints to the organization—an advantage that is especially beneficial when creative problem solving is required. developing and perpetuating slogans and stories about organizational heroes. Handouts like the one featured in Figure 1 can be a useful part of such training. savvy mentors. They accept the fact that valuing and managing diversity constitute a long-term process and that it is not easy to determine at the outset how this process might contribute to the bottom line. They also may need specific training on diversity issues. creating incentives for managing diversity effectively. and instituting creative rewards and forms of recognition. celebrating events that honor diversity. task. Diversity increases productivity and makes work fun and interesting. an arbitrator. it is important for employees representing diverse cultures to have mentors or sponsors to guide them as they learn organizational norms. 2nd Edition. Also. and the HRD professional can be an invaluable resource during this period. Nonmanagerial employees will need to be made aware of the organization’s policies regarding diversity and the strategies that the managers have devised. The HRD professional should let people know that he or she is willing to serve as a consultant. s 260 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Strategies at the task level include developing job aids that accommodate cultural differences and implementing a system for envisioning results. making certain that employees from different cultures are linked with willing. Strategies at the system level include using culture brokers (external or internal consultants) who function as linking agents between cultural groups. Implementing action plans for strategies requires time and patience. Consequently. Strategies at the personal level include such activities as developing and using procedures for negotiation and conflict resolution and conducting a brief interview with an employee from a culture that is different from one’s own. the HRD practitioner may want to set up a mentoring program. they can progress to developing strategies. or personal. Strategies for addressing diversity may be aimed at any of three levels of the organization: system. enhancing language banks. Once managers clearly understand the managerial behavior required to establish the desired process. It is also a good idea for the HRD professional to have resource materials available for those who need them: a list of diversity consultants and trainers as well as any reading materials and videos that can provide useful information and examples of how to handle different situations.4.

Figure 1. then confirm that you heard correctly. and so on). 3. s Stay confident. creativity. Following these suggestions may help you communicate more effectively in such a situation: 1. s Tell the other person what you are willing to do to correct the problem. relaxed. or laughter that might convey disapproval of the other person’s expectations. s Allow the other person to choose an option as long as the choice avoids harm to either of you or to the organization. phraseology. s Explain your perspective of the problem. leadership. not how it is said. In accommodating the other person’s needs. The Cultural Component of Problem Solving s Employees are willing to take risks. work to change the system. s Many if not most of us are facing or soon will face the opportunity—and the challenges—of meeting and working with people from different cultures. Negotiate and Accommodate s Agree with the other person’s right to hold his or her opinion. s Answers to these questions will give you valuable information. s Find out what the other person expects from you and/or the organization. If necessary. go as far as you are willing to go and as far as the system will support you. s Acknowledge similarities and differences in what you are able to provide and what the other person expects. (Were your expectations or those of the other person violated? Was the problem caused by intrusion from sources outside the organization?) s Ask open-ended questions (ones that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”). we can learn to listen to individuals The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2. Paraphrase what you hear. and innovation are enhanced. s Thank the other person for letting you know about the problem and giving you and/or the organization a chance to correct it. As a result. gestures. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 261 . s Avoid an ethnocentric reaction (anger. shock. Offer at least two options. Listen s Actively listen to the other person. and open to all information. Evaluate s Hold any reactions or judgments until you determine the cause of the problem. they play to win rather than not to lose. Employees are empowered and have a sense of their potential in and value to the company. communicating can be difficult. We and the organizations we work for can choose to see diversity in the workplace as a drawback or as a chance to grow. s Commit to following through and providing a timely response. wait until the anger or frustration has been expressed before responding to the situation. 2nd Edition. facial expression. With training and practice.When someone from a different culture confronts you about a problem. s If the other person seems angry or frustrated. s Respond to what is being said.

and to accommodate differences. (1991). Thomas. but HRD professionals can provide valuable assistance as organizational members strive to incorporate this pattern into their behavioral repertoire. to negotiate. Beyond race and gender. Learning to use this response pattern is not easy.E. (1987). and to see their mistakes as an opportunity to learn. 2nd Edition. W. R. New York: AMACOM.R. Washington. to forgive themselves when they make mistakes. REFERENCES Johnston. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . All of us—HRD professionals and others—can work to transform our organizations into places where fresh perspectives are welcomed and where all employees feel free to express themselves. DC: Hudson Institute. to respond to them with cultural relativism rather than ethnocentrism. to test their assumptions.from different cultures. & Packer. A.B.. 262 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. to take some risks. Workforce 2000: Work & workers for the twenty-first century.

Originally published in The 1994 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. deterioration of relationships and households. 1989) and it has risen since then.S. The pervasiveness of the problem is alarming. and union shop stewards. Suurvali.9 billion in 1983 (Norman & Salyards. economy of substance abuse in the workplace was estimated at $57. including minimized litigation through clearly stated policies. increased absenteeism and turnover. managers. and general life stress. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Brill THE PROBLEM OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE The abuse of drugs and alcohol in the workplace is a very serious problem. 1986). and increased medical costs incurred by employers. and guaranteed fairness in the workplace (Epp.). 2nd Edition. Others include marital problems. rather than a punitive. In addition to the negative consequences in the workplace. San Diego. criminal activity. and the spread of the AIDS virus by intravenous drug users are just some of the negative social implications of substance abuse. management. many spillover effects accompany substance abuse. coping with tragedy. The problem exists in almost all types of jobs and at all levels. Traffic accidents. EAP personnel serve as experts and consultants for supervisors. 1988). Companies that have been effective in reducing substance abuse are characterized by strategies that build an environment of trust. substance abuse is one of them. a common goal for management and labor. approximately 25 percent of the work force seems to be involved (Wrich. and enhanced public opinion by means of a constructive. confidentiality in treatment.„‚ BEHAVIOR-MANAGEMENT INTERVENTIONS: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Robert T. unsafe working behaviors. William Pfeiffer (Ed. A combination of confronting the problem and providing treatment for the employee has been shown to obtain both an impressive success rate (65 to 80 percent) and a profitable savings for the organization (as much as $8 million) (Shain. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 263 . The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The consequences of such behavior are evidenced in poor performance. EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS Employee assistance programs (EAPs) address a variety of problems encountered by employees. white and blue collar workers. approach to substance abuse. 1988). Roman (1989) identifies other benefits of EAPs. and staff have been found to have substance-abuse problems. The cost to the U. & Boutilier.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Carefully developed and widely disseminated policies and procedures. Although it is often perceived as being difficult and aversive. and Berry’s (1990) taxonomy will be used to discuss interventions for improving coworkers’ 264 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. To ensure even greater benefits from EAPs. Workers often do not realize that they need counseling. and it may be difficult for the supervisor to carry out his or her role in the process. 2. The identification of employees’ problems based on job performance. Ludwig. EAPs provide systematic ways to deal with a wide array of personal issues. union cooperation. Adherence to confidentiality regulations and avoidance of unnecessary referrals. the work organization. it is realistic and prudent for companies to expect and encourage these two behaviors to be practiced by coworkers as well as by supervisors. Appropriate use of constructive confrontation. 3. the first and third components of the EAP technology fall on the shoulders of the supervisor. several potential obstacles constrict the effectiveness of the supervisor within an EAP. with the worker’s continued employment based on his or her seeking help. without top-management support. 4. For instance. and it becomes necessary for supervisors to encourage such workers to take advantage of the opportunity. the “core technology” of EAPs involves the following components: 1. These five components make the EAP a unique system. employees may feel inhibited about using the EAP. Links with community resources when necessary. APPLYING BEHAVIOR-MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO EAPS The purpose of this paper is to integrate principles of applied behavioral analysis with the implementation of EAPs and their referral strategies in order to maximize the effectiveness and utilization of EAPs. Promotion and reinforcement of these behaviors are critical in the cases of employees who need help but who are in denial or blind to the ongoing consequences of their inability to manage the sources of their problems. one that requires a delicate balance of attention to the concerns of the employee. Gilmore. 1986). Behavior-management strategies taken from Geller. Such encouragement sometimes evolves into a mandate. Specifically. behavior-management strategies will be applied to two behaviors: identification and confrontation of workers who might benefit from the EAP services. 2nd Edition.The function of EAPs is to provide counseling for the work force. Unfortunately. and 5. or an organizational culture that promotes sobriety. and community resources (Sonnestuhl & Trice. employee acceptance. According to Roman and Blum (1985). THE ROLE OF THE SUPERVISOR Typically. the supervisory role is crucial in identifying “problem” employees and encouraging them to use the EAP.

the policy should emphasize approaching the employee in general terms (e. s Direction refers to the explicit procedures that supervisors are to follow in identifying and confronting “problem” employees.g.. One problem with the policy guides discussed above is the ambiguity of the term “noticeable decrement” in performance. change interventions should typically address two issues: An individual must first be capable of performing the behavior and also must be motivated to carry it out. What procedure is to be followed in referring an employee to the EAP. How to properly document a “noticeable decrement” in performance. the specific criteria for nonacceptable decreases in performance should be discussed and established at the supervisor-subordinate level. To avoid such paralysis. s s s s In terms of the last point. To increase any desired behavior. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 265 . and Its encouragement and direction for supervisors concerning their EAP responsibility. How to maintain employee confidentiality. “Are you a substance abuser?” or “Do you have problems at home?”). 2nd Edition.. Such vague terminology can lead to confusion and inaction on the part of managers. and How to handle the initial confrontation. THE SUPERVISOR’S ABILITY TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS The first and foremost step in improving the effectiveness of the supervisory role within an EAP is a clear policy that is communicated by top management and that states: s Its commitment to improving the employees’ quality of life through implementation of the EAP. a problem seems to exist”). Such discussions are common at initial employment. when supervisors clarify their expectations concerning the minimal level of performance acceptable before termination. “Based on your recent performance.and supervisors’ ability and motivation to serve as change agents for workers who are experiencing quality-of-life problems. Unlike those dialogues. relies on the identification of decrements in job performance. on which EAP referrals are based. The Job-Performance Model The job-performance model. accusative style (e. This should include: s Specific details regarding how often performance indices should be recorded (the format should be determined individually for each job). not in a presumptuous. Implementation of some of these strategies should greatly contribute to improving the utility of EAPs.g. discussion of the level of performance at which The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.

counseling services should be considered as a resource is much less foreboding. It should be more pleasant and help oriented. This facilitates a more cooperative, less defensive dialogue about specific performance standards for relevant job dimensions. The type of performance-appraisal system, expected variability in job performance, and the criticalness of the job in terms of safety and profit are factors to be considered in these discussions. If necessary, the supervisor may wish to consult his or her superior for input, but such third-party involvement should be avoided if possible so as to maintain the confidentiality that most EAPs encourage.

Rater Training Programs
Research has demonstrated that many basic skills—both psychomotor and cognitive— relevant to job performance are impaired by most drugs. Therefore, confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the method used to measure performance is of the utmost importance. Wherever possible, objective measures such as attendance, customer grievances, and substandard production should be used. More often, employees will need to rely on supervisory ratings. Because of their subjective nature, valid performance ratings are a challenging endeavor. Supervisors need to be given ample opportunity to observe performance in order to ensure confidence and accuracy in the assessment of performance. Also, as Sonnestuhl and Trice (1986) suggest, a supportive top management must communicate its commitment to an EAP policy that incorporates the job-performance model and must clearly demonstrate how the necessary behaviors may be integrated into the supervisors’ already existing job duties and responsibilities. Such direction and increased supervisor confidence and accuracy can be obtained by means of rater training programs (Hedge & Kavanagh, 1988). Performance-appraisal research has refined and increased the effectiveness of rater training programs (Borman, 1991). One such program, frame-of-reference training, was developed on the basis of improved understanding of the rater’s information-processing capabilities (Bernardin & Pence, 1980). The objective of this training strategy is to provide raters of the same job title with a common framework of standards (e.g., what are good and poor examples of performance) for each of the multiple work dimensions in that job. This is achieved by familiarization with the behavioral content relevant for each dimension; discussion of what constitutes different levels of performance; and practice and review, preferably with actual performance examples filmed or simulated. Through consultation with EAP counselors, specific job behaviors that may be more susceptible to the effects of stress or substance abuse may be identified and integrated into the content of the training program. A good supplement to frame-ofreference training is the practice of diary keeping (DeNisi, Robbins, & Cafferty, 1989), in which supervisors record critical work incidents of both excellent and poor performance by workers. This information can assist the supervisor in the rating process and improve the quality, detail, and credibility of the documentation of a “noticeable” performance problem. This will not only be more convincing to the subordinate but should also provide the supervisor with greater confidence to initiate a referral. 266 ‚„

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These methods can be an effective step toward giving supervisors the ability to identify performance problems and can provide the additional benefit of more reliable and accurate appraisal ratings in general.

Once decreased performance is identified, a supervisor faces the difficulty of confronting the worker. This task is so unpleasant that supervisors have been known to inflate ratings in order to justify avoiding such confrontation (Kipnis, 1960; Latham, 1986). This demonstrates the importance of the appraisal issues discussed previously. Training to improve constructive confrontation ability should employ actual demonstration supplemented by consensus-seeking practice and role playing. This type of training should begin with reiteration of the policy issues concerning top management’s support, documentation of performance, the referral process, etc. This is followed by a demonstration of the constructive-confrontation phase of the referral, performed by professional trainers and/or EAP coordinators or counselors. Although the initial approach of a supervisor can be somewhat standardized (i.e., performance-based, nonaccusative), the nature of the employee’s reaction can take a variety of forms, including defensiveness, denial, anger, and rationalizing. Therefore, multiple vignettes should be designed, demonstrated, and discussed for various subordinate rebuttals. These will afford the supervisors the opportunity to directly observe what is considered to be an effective constructive-confrontation strategy. The demonstration should be prefaced with the understanding that any discussion or questions (which should be encouraged) must be conducted within the framework of hypothetical, ideal, supervisory behaviors, not real or actual experiences, successes, or failures. This last point must be emphasized so as to maintain the confidentiality that should be protected at all costs. Although direct observation has been shown to be an effective teaching tool, it is recommended that sessions be conducted so that supervisors can practice and refine their abilities in approaching workers. Similar training can be provided for employees, to introduce and promote constructive confrontation at the peer level.

Once ability issues are addressed, identification and confrontation can be further promoted through many of the communication strategies suggested by Geller and colleagues (1990). In implementing the EAP, effort should be made to educate both workers and supervisors about the positive aspects of EAPs. This serves two purposes: 1) It informs employees who have problems about this means of obtaining help, and 2) it helps to diminish the perceptions of supervisors and coworkers that they are “ratting” on their fellow workers by identifying and confronting them. This perception can be „‚ 267

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replaced with a more appropriate understanding of “intervening to help” fellow employees. In an organization in which performance tasks and safety require interdependence of workers, it is essential that workers be educated about the direct implications of tolerating substance abuse or other performance problems. These implications range from loss of production bonuses to serious injury or fatality. Sheridan (1987) describes an effective brochure that presents these points to the employees of the Union Pacific Railroad. Its efforts to promote a drug-free workplace often focus on the “silent majority” who do not abuse drugs or alcohol, but who suffer the consequences yet fail to intervene when they could provide a great service for other employees. To increase the impact of such informational tools, the relevant consequences or specific injuries for the particular jobs within the organization should be stressed (e.g., drowning for boat operators, electrocution for those who work with electricity, fractures and broken bones for jobs that involve moving large objects), rather than general consequences such as increased absenteeism, decreased production, and decreased safety.

Consensus-Seeking Activities
In addition to the education and training programs mentioned thus far, small groups of supervisors and employees can participate in consensus-seeking activities. The typical method of providing such practice is group decision making, in which participants and a facilitator come together with diverse expectations about an issue and leave with unanimity concerning the preferred response. This process often leads to increased group satisfaction and commitment to the issue or the course of action (Hegedus & Rasmussen, 1986). In this context, the initial decision to be made should focus on the basic question of whether or not EAPs are worthwhile and what role should they play within the organization. The group begins discussing general issues such as the benefits of EAPs and the importance of a coworker’s or supervisor’s referral to help employees with problems. Discussion should move toward a consensus that would instill a greater sense of commitment on the part of individual employees and supervisors to become more adept at identification and confrontation behaviors. Consensus seeking is not an easy task, and great emphasis is put on the role of the facilitator. Many strategies for obtaining consensus and evaluating its impact have been developed. The potential commitment to improving the quality of life for employees through EAPs that could come from such exercises makes them a worthwhile endeavor. The dialogue within the exercise can pinpoint supervisors’ and employees’ fears and break down many of the obstacles that prevent their intervening, such as their concern for the affected employee’s job security, concern about how others will perceive them, lack of faith in the referral and counseling process, confidentiality concerns, and fear of interpersonal repercussions. When brought into the open and discussed, these fears and perceived obstacles often disappear.

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Role Playing
Motivation interventions can build on the ability-training program discussed above. Effective supervisory techniques should be role played, and hesitant or skeptical supervisors should be asked to play the role of a troubled employee (perhaps a substance abuser). Role playing has been shown to be successful in changing people’s attitudes and perceptions about an issue (McCombe & Stires, 1990). When directed by a facilitator who is skilled in using such techniques, role playing helps supervisors to understand the confusion and emotional struggles that “problem” employees are likely to feel. When they become sufficiently absorbed in the role, they actually experience some of the things the employee may be experiencing, such as a sense of lost control, frustration, and helplessness. Eventually the role player is “introduced” to and accepts the option of EAP counseling. Such powerful role-reversal experiences often elicit strong attitudinal changes. The objective is to help supervisors to understand that although their role is difficult, it is truly a helping role. Many trainers and counselors possess the qualifications to conduct role plays.

Written and Visual Activators
Another intervention strategy that can further promote an organizational culture conducive to improved quality of life through EAPs is a written or visual activator (Geller et al., 1990), a mechanism put into place to activate appropriate behaviors. For instance, a memorandum delineating the company’s EAP policy serves as a written activator to motivate employees to use the EAP and supervisors to carry out their role. For visual activators, the policy’s highlights could be posted. Symbols and images are very effective in motivating behaviors in an antecedent fashion. Union Pacific’s program, Operation Red Block, frequently used the display of the railroad’s bright red stop sign to communicate its message, a symbol that was clear in meaning and with which the workers could easily identify (Sheridan, 1987). Other activators that may be effective when posted include brief but profound statistics (e.g., percentage of workers injured, percentage helped by EAP) and scenarios depicting substance abusers, depressed individuals, and marital problems before and after EAP referral and counseling.

Success Stories
Success stories can be profiled by means of newsletters and bulletin boards, featuring narratives and pictures of actual supervisors and employees who benefited from the referral and counseling components of the EAP. In this way, individuals who have been helped by the system become intervention agents who demonstrate the benefits of the EAP to others. Of course, no workers who have benefited from the EAP should be coerced to permit such a feature. However, one may be surprised at how cooperative and helpful successfully treated workers become. Hypothetical narratives and name changes are optional strategies for this type of intervention.

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Supervisory Pledges and Incentives
Additional suggestions include efforts at building commitment by having supervisors sign pledge cards that specifically state, “I will serve the needs of the EAP and my employees by identifying and confronting those whose performance noticeably decreases so as to encourage and support them in overcoming their problems.” Many activator interventions are geared toward the individual supervisor (e.g., incentives, disincentives) or use the motivating power of penalties and competition (Geller et al., 1990). Such approaches are not recommended in this context because the target behaviors, identification and confrontation, are not desirable unless the situation truly indicates a problem employee, and the situation will differ for each supervisor. However, within the policy statement and supervisor’s job description, it should be pointed out that supervisors who fail to confront workers whose performance noticeably decreases are not completing their job duties, and this may be reflected in their own performance evaluations. Goals and incentives for the supervisors as a group are recommended. In fact, a drug-free workplace should be a general goal that all supervisors internalize. More specific goals may be set by establishing certain levels of absenteeism and turnover that would be desirable to achieve relative to current levels. It is necessary to reiterate how important it is that supervisors perceive the EAP as an effective means of achieving improvements in absenteeism and turnover. In this regard, effective educational programs are critical. These goals can be assigned by top management, but preferably supervisors will reach consensus and set goal levels participatively. Upper management can tie group incentives to the realization of these goals. Similar goals and incentives can be extended to the work force in general. As with the activators, it is recommended that negative consequences, such as penalties for failing to identify or confront “problem” workers, be avoided. Such interventions may have a boomerang effect and inhibit supervisors from accepting and being committed to the overall EAP philosophy. A common consequence would be for supervisors to inflate performance ratings in order to protect them from being “liable” or deserving of the penalty. A more constructive and effective consequence is feedback at the group and individual level. Group feedback would involve continual updates of progress toward any goals that have been set, as well as reports at meetings of data concerning the effectiveness of the EAP (e.g., number of employees receiving help and results of confidential and anonymous surveys of employee satisfaction with the referral process and counseling). To ensure anonymity, these surveys could be distributed by the EAP staff with return envelopes addressed to the human resource department or some designated office that will tally the results. Individual feedback would involve assessment of strengths and weaknesses in a nonthreatening, one-on-one training setting that is conducive to discussing and reinforcing the effective aspects of the supervisor’s behavior and correcting or improving the negative aspects. In other words, there should be no connection between the feedback and one’s performance evaluation. Documented 270 ‚„

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performance problems by supervisors would be concerned only with failure to confront, not with ineffective confrontation, as it is a developed skill. This feedback may be provided by the supervisor, a peer supervisor, an EAP staff member, or an EAP coordinator. Many of these interventions are implemented and monitored by a designated EAP coordinator within the organization. In some cases, it is a full-time job; in other cases, it is one of the human resource manager’s job responsibilities; and in still other cases, the responsibilities are delegated and rotated throughout the organization’s management.

An EAP offers a multiple-intervention approach. Some employees seek help simply as a result of the education, marketing, and availability of the EAP. Others benefit from the preventive focus of the EAP’s efforts and the organization’s overall concern for quality of life. In general, a large number of workers receive substantial guidance and assistance from the EAP and from an organization that promotes a healthy work force. However, many of the more serious problems of addiction, stress, and family turmoil are accompanied by strong denial on the part of the affected workers. They refuse to recognize the seriousness of their problems or are too egotistical to believe that they need help. These workers are the ones for whom the supervisory referral component of the EAP mission is so critical. Here the balance between supportive rehabilitation and mandated measures is crucial. The former should be emphasized, and the latter used as a last resort. It is a challenging balance for supervisors to maintain as they serve as change agents in identifying and confronting poorly performing subordinates in order to get them into a setting where they will be helped. Organizations have been reluctant to encourage fellow workers to serve as intervention agents who share responsibility for identifying and confronting “problem” employees, despite the fact that they often have a direct interest in seeing that coworkers are helped when needed. Employees can be encouraged to extend the work of the supervisory role in a professional, caring manner. Organizations may never know the full impact that the EAP has on individual employees, or the number of employees who are helped by the EAP, but this should not downplay the necessity of fostering a culture of “sobriety” and “high quality of life” in which employees demonstrate a genuine concern for other workers, whether at the supervisory or peer level.

Bernardin, H.J., & Pence, E. (1980). Effects of rater training: Creating new response sets and decreasing accuracy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 458-463. Borman, W.C. (1991). Job behavior, performance, and effectiveness. In M.D. Dunnette & L.M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Vol. 2, 2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

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DeNisi, A.S., Robbins, T., & Cafferty, T.P. (1989). Organization of information used for performance appraisals: Role of diary-keeping. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(1), 124-129. Epp, J. (1988). Substance abuse and the workplace: A federal perspective. Worklife Report (Canada), 6, 1-3. Geller, E.S., Ludwig, T., Gilmore, M., & Berry, T. (1990). A taxonomy of behavior change techniques for community intervention. The Community Psychologist, 23(21), 4-6. Hedge, J.W., & Kavanagh, M.J. (1988). Improving the accuracy of performance evaluations: Comparison of three methods of performance appraiser training. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 68-73. Kipnis, D. (1960). Some determinants of supervisory esteem. Personnel Psychology, 13, 377-391. Latham, G.P. (1986). Job performance and appraisal. In Cooper C. Robertson (Ed.), Review of industrial/organizational psychology (pp. 117-155). Chichester, England: Wiley. Norman, J., & Salyards, S.D. (1989). An empirical evaluation of preemployment drug testing in the U.S. postal service: Interim report of findings. In S.W. Gust & J.M. Walsh (Eds.), Drugs in the workplace: Research and evaluation data. (NIDA Research Monograph 91), pp. 219-226. Roman, P.M. (1989). The use of EAP’s in dealing with drug abuse in the workplace. In S.W. Gust & J.M. Walsh (Eds.), Drugs in the workplace: Research and evaluation data. (NIDA Research Monograph 91), pp. 219226. Roman, P.M., & Blum, T.C. (1985). The core technology of employee assistance programs. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 42, 244-272. Shain, M., Suurvali, H., & Boutilier, M. (1986). Healthier workers: Health promotion and employee assistance programs. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Sheridan, P.J. (1987). Operation red block signals stop to alcohol and drug abuse. Occupational Hazards, 49, 4345. Sonnestuhl, W.J., & Trice, H.M. (1986). Strategies for employee assistance programs: The crucial balance. (Key Issues Series No. 30). Ithaca, NY: ILR Press. Wrich, J.T. (1988). Beyond testing: Coping with drugs in the workplace. Harvard Business Review, 66, 120-130.

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John Geirland and Marci Maniker-Leiter
Abstract: Trainers and consultants are continually called on to provide feedback to clients. Feedback takes a variety of forms: individual feedback in the classroom, group feedback in the classroom, 360-degree leader feedback, organization-wide survey feedback, and unit survey feedback. In this article, the authors contrast the classic feedback model with an iterative model for delivering feedback. They outline facilitation techniques to use with feedback and explore common emotional responses to feedback. Finally, the authors touch on common concerns and dilemmas that change agents face when they deliver feedback, including ethical considerations, confidentiality, and maintaining the self-esteem of participants.

Although they differ in the type of courses, tools, and techniques they employ, nearly all trainers and consultants have one thing in common: They provide feedback to clients. The ability to provide relatively objective feedback—whether it pertains to social style, organizational climate, or leadership skills—is one of the primary assets of change agents.1 Although clients often pay significant fees to obtain this feedback, they often respond in the following ways:
s s s

Silence. “It’s good feedback, thanks”—followed by inaction. Superficial acceptance, leaving the change agent with a nagging feeling that the group did not understand. Anger, with a refusal to come to terms with the feedback.


These all-too-typical responses may be accounted for, in large part, by client resistance. However, matters are not helped by a common belief that the job of change agents is finished once they deliver the feedback. Feedback is not a one-time activity, a kind of data dump, but an iterative process, wherein the first cycle of feedback stimulates the client, or client organization, to bring forth more data and insights, which can be reanalyzed and cycled through again. Approaching feedback as an iterative process enables the change agent to help the client realize deeper insights, ultimately reaching the most meaningful issues. This article describes a model for delivering feedback, outlines facilitation techniques,
Originally published in The 1995 Annual: Volume 1, Training by J. William Pfeiffer (Ed.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Because this article addresses both trainers and internal and external consultants, the more general term “change agent” is used to signify these groups.

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explores common emotional responses, and touches on common concerns and dilemmas that change agents face when they deliver feedback. Before embarking on a discussion of the model, this article outlines forms of feedback.

Feedback is usually delivered by change agents in two contexts: (a) the classroom and (b) as part of a consulting assignment. In both situations, feedback may be presented to individuals or groups that vary in size from several people to entire organizations. Specific forms of feedback include individual feedback in the classroom, group feedback in the classroom, 360-degree leader feedback, organization-wide survey feedback, and unit survey feedback.

Individual Feedback (Classroom)
Many courses are designed around an individual assessment tool or use such a tool as an integral part of the course. An example is a social-style or management-style inventory. Typically, inventories are completed by participants prior to the class and may also be collected from the participant’s associates. Inventory results are usually presented to participants during the course. This feedback often remains confidential, although participants can share the results with others if they choose.

Group Feedback (Classroom)
Formal group feedback in the classroom is less common, though a trainer may offer informal feedback to a class on a variety of process issues (e.g., “Our energy level seems low.”). Formal group feedback is more appropriate when a natural work team participates in a class. Feedback for a team often focuses on team dynamics, such as quality of communication, cooperation, and sense of shared goals.

360-Degree Leader Feedback
A change agent may be brought in to assess a manager’s or executive’s leadership style. Interviews are conducted with the subject and the people who report to him or her, colleagues, and the subject’s manager—a full circle of interviews, hence the name. Interviews may be augmented by the use of an instrument or inventory. Feedback is delivered confidentially, although the subject’s manager may also hear the feedback.

Survey Feedback (Organization-Wide)
This category includes climate surveys and other organization-wide surveys in which the total population (or a random sample drawn from the population) completes a questionnaire assessing various aspects of organizational life and performance (e.g., job satisfaction, teamwork, goals, managing change, and communication). Quantitative responses are tabulated and open-ended (i.e., written) comments are content analyzed. If 274 ‚„
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data are collected in interviews or focus groups, this information is also included. Feedback is delivered in the form of a report and/or presentation to management. Additional presentations may be made to staff, or a summary memo may be circulated. Individuals’ survey responses remain confidential.

Survey Feedback (Unit)
Often as part of an organization-wide survey, feedback will be presented to individual work units, departments, or job classifications or levels. These results are often compared to the organization-wide base to provide a bench mark for the group in question. Usually the findings for one unit are not shared with people in other units.

Before describing the iterative feedback model, this article reviews the classic feedback model, the one on which much training and organization work is implicitly based.

The Classic Feedback Model
The classic feedback model is often portrayed as a circular process, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The Classic Feedback Model

Data are gathered from the client system by the change agent through one or more of the following methods:

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g. discussion. or it may continue with additional iterations. social-style inventory) Classroom activities Archival research (e. The process may end here. and customer-service reports) These data are then analyzed by the change agent. or insights by the client. and feeds the information back to the client. but this one is typically shorter and less pronounced than the first. the information can trigger additional observations. policies. Similar to the classic model. Then some period of time follows in which the client processes the feedback. On reflection. the iterative feedback model indicates that the change agent collects data from the client system. depending on the nature of the feedback and the dynamics of the client system. in principle. key issues.g. and capabilities for enhancing individual or organizational performance. enables the client system to make adjustments in perceptions. and feedback as an iterative process that involves at least two cycles. or diagnoses. Once the client has fully processed the initial feedback. such as financial. particularly if new individuals or groups are brought in. analysis. Furthermore. A second refractory period may follow. behaviors. stall. creating more feedback for the client. the model does not capture the ways clients accept feedback. This classic model has been a useful guide to change agents for many years and has the added virtue of simplicity. These new data are again analyzed—often by mutual work by the client and the change agent. This analysis. coming closer to the most important issues facing the client system. review of internal documents. An analogy is the time a person takes to chew food before swallowing—the mastication period. The client’s emotional or cognitive responses following feedback will vary. but most will enter a “refractory period. conclusions. 276 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.s s s s s Focus groups Surveys Inventories (e. However. this model recognizes the complex emotional and cognitive responses that feedback can provoke. 2nd Edition. analyzes what he or she has collected. the iterative feedback model (see Figure 2) presents the steps of gathering data. This refractory period can last a few minutes or a few months—or even become a permanent block to further action. at least temporarily.” where the process will... Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The Iterative Feedback Model In contrast to the one-cycle aspect of the classic model. sometimes in collaboration with the client. marketing. resulting in a set of observations. Often the change agent will then move into the next stage of consulting by working with the client to develop interventions for achieving needed changes. recommendations. the client achieves deeper insights from the feedback.

The patient’s food journal shows that although he does not eat red meat. “Maybe someone’s made a mistake. The patient expresses disbelief. the patient accepts the diagnosis of high cholesterol and realizes it is an issue with which he must deal. The Iterative Feedback Model The following analogy may help clarify the model: A man goes to his family doctor for a routine physical examination. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 277 . the initial period of data collection. i. The physician then asks the patient to keep a food journal (writing down everything he eats) the next week and also to bring in a family medical history. the refractory period in which the patient’s cognitive and emotional responses (disbelief.. He and the physician discuss other aspects of his health and life style. When the patient returns.Figure 2. This analogy illustrates the major aspects of the iterative feedback model. Had the physician stopped with the initial report of results in the second visit. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the patient agrees. The doctor takes the patient’s vital signs. After much protest. the physician shares the results of the tests: The patient has an elevated cholesterol count. Making an appointment for a return visit. and a collaborative effort to develop an intervention. 2nd Edition. and asks a few questions. he consumes a lot of saturated fats from other sources.” The physician tries to assure the patient that the test procedures are highly reliable. “But I watch what I eat! I eat hardly any red meat.e. it is doubtful that the patient would have changed any of his habits that contributed to high cholesterol. then develop a broad strategy for reducing the patient’s cholesterol level. working through the refractory period.” The patient asks if the test is accurate. obtains urine and blood samples. The patient’s family has a history of heart disease and of elevated cholesterol. At a subsequent appointment. Tests are performed on the blood and urine. the patient leaves. After reviewing these items with his doctor. additional data collection. with cholesterol counts if possible. the doctor and patient review the journal and the medical records. confusion) create resistance.

” The client now marshals his or her defenses. “I’m a little teed off about it.COMMON EMOTIONAL AND COGNITIVE RESPONSES TO FEEDBACK For most people. receiving feedback is more than just an intellectual exercise. The lead author of this article once provided an executive with highly negative feedback on her management performance. social style. anticipation. The emotional and cognitive responses that feedback engenders will vary in intensity from person to person and situation to situation. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Continuing the example above. the executive later phoned the author to complain about the feedback she had received. assumptions. Even after the presentation. the volume of feedback—particularly with surveys—may be temporarily paralyzing. or the truthfulness of the people who provided the data. management style. Anger If the feedback is negative or challenges deeply held beliefs. challenging the consultant’s methods. she could do little more than nod and acknowledge that she understood but disagreed with the findings. The feedback is often greeted with silence. During the phone call described above. and sometimes fear. and other aspects of organizations. the client may feel threatened and react with anger. Therefore. The client may feel overwhelmed or confused at this point. it is also an emotional experience. This true illustration provides an excellent example of all five stages. Still. or expectations. Usually these are issues that are of moderate to high concern and interest. “In fact. the client proceeded to 278 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.” she said. During most of the initial feedback session. 2nd Edition. The type of feedback discussed here touches on aspects of work performance. Even if the information does not challenge important beliefs. Her blank expression during the presentation showed no emotion. how people relate to others (either as individuals or as part of a group). these responses often involve the five stages that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1969) described for people confronting death and dying: s s s s s Shock and denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Shock and Denial The client receives feedback that is at variance to his or her beliefs. assumptions. I’m kind of angry at you. the manager listened passively and made few remarks. or expectations. the occasion for feedback—often formally scheduled—brings with it a sense of drama. the quality or completeness of the information.

and insights. in a later meeting. The client has begun to make adjustments in his or her belief system to accommodate the new information. HELPFUL FACILITATION SKILLS The iterative feedback model requires a high degree of interaction with the client. Acceptance The client finally works through his or her resistance to the feedback. The executive in the example eventually accepted the indication that major changes were needed in the way she managed her organization. in fact. and the change agent should be adept at the following: s s Active listening.”). he or she may even enter a period of depression. Facilitation skills are essential to the process. The use of probes.”). my reputation will be ruined. 2 The feedback was.” and “After all those years of hard work! If this gets out. In many cases. and they were probably burned out. the client is confronted with the loss of a cherished but inaccurate self-image. beliefs. thus beginning the next cycle of data gathering.” 2 ) and the motives of participants (“They resent having to work so hard. The change in beliefs and assumptions enables the client to offer new observations. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Depression Once the client realizes that change is necessary and inevitable. She began to explore key issues in greater depth and to plan future interventions to make changes. The executive in the example.” The reality was that the client’s reputation had already been questioned as a result of serious performance issues in her organization. he or she may experience a sense of loss. This acceptance signals the end of the refractory period in the iterative feedback model. based on interviews with sixteen individuals and survey data from forty-four employees. 2nd Edition. so they’re using the survey to get back at management. Bargaining The client may begin to accept the truthfulness of the findings but seek to find explanations that prevent having to change behavior.challenge the methods used (“You based everything on one person’s opinions. perceptions. or assumptions. depending on the nature of the feedback. analysis. In our example. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 279 . and feedback. explained that her staff’s responses were probably influenced by one of several events that had occurred at the time of the survey (“That was a very busy period for us. the executive began to make statements such as “This makes me want to just give up and retire.

One person in each pair asks the other person a series of clarifying and exploratory questions regarding the feedback he or she received. Additionally. What other thoughts or ideas does this feedback trigger? s s Once the recipient and his or her partner have worked through the questions. and Dealing with nonconstructive or disruptive behavior. This approach also provides the individual with an opportunity to generate more information and reach a deeper understanding of the issues. STRATEGIES FOR DELIVERING FEEDBACK A discussion of feedback strategies could easily fill a book and is well beyond the scope of this article. He or she must read those responses correctly and not overreact in return. the change agent must have the ability to help clients to integrate the new information they are bringing out in response to the feedback. Keeping the individual or group on target and within time frames. seeing the connections between issues. the pair switches roles and repeats the activity. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Defusing emotional reactions. challenging basic assumptions. Nevertheless. and.. changing the focus of the discussion). Clarifying comments. Creating conditions that encourage open and free dialogue. if necessary.s s s s s s Summarizing what people are saying. an opportunity for participants to work through their emotional and cognitive responses can be provided by dividing the group into coaching pairs. Individual Feedback (Classroom) When individual feedback is provided in a classroom situation. Often this requires the change agent to help the client reframe the information that was previously collected (i. 280 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. Finally. These questions might include the following: s s What are the surprises in this feedback? Why are you surprised? What part of this feedback are you comfortable with and what part makes you uncomfortable? Why? Provide me with an example that illustrates [an issue identified in the feedback]. as described above.e. the change agent must be sensitive to the type of emotional and cognitive responses that clients provide when first receiving feedback. we offer a few techniques that have worked well for us and others.

One elegant variation is an adaptation from Chip Bell’s (1994) technique for collecting customer-service feedback. Nonetheless. The managers are to listen only. Survey findings are presented in the form of summary bullets and bar charts. Group Feedback (Classroom or Survey) One effective approach for delivering survey feedback is to present the data to successive (and representative) groups of employees from the target organization. However. The new information is discussed. The customer-service providers move to the table. and Write out questions that these issues raise. Surrounding the table is an inner circle of first-line customer-service providers. Classroom feedback can also follow this general procedure.360-Degree Leader Feedback A 360-degree feedback session usually involves a one-on-one exchange between the client and the change agent. which is followed by a question-and-answer period. Surrounding the customerservice providers is an outer circle of managers. the organizational chart is inverted and the employees become the ultimate customers of The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. This approach requires a high degree of trust on the part of all parties. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 281 . This process could be adapted to any operational arena. Customer-Service Model Feedback repetition is even more effective when a group is receiving feedback about itself. Describe the conditions or factors that cause or influence the issues. Immediately following the first round of feedback. the payback for all concerned can be substantial. 2nd Edition. who speak only when necessary to clarify or explain something to the customers. subsequent sessions can be enriched if the client agrees to allow his or her manager or associates to attend and offer reactions to the feedback (Does it sound accurate? Is it relevant? Any surprises?). The groups are asked to review the survey findings and to do the following: s s s Identify the three most important issues. Following the break. The results are delivered in one pass-through. The process begins again with customer-service providers giving feedback on the support and direction they receive from management. customers sit around a table and describe their experiences related to customer service. and the managers move to the inner circle of chairs. In the customer-service model. Essentially. and the session ends with a greater understanding of the key issues identified in the survey. and a follow-up session is then scheduled. The client and manager can then work together to design an action plan based on work assignments and opportunities. A set of questions is developed for further inquiry. The groups come together and share what they have developed. then a break. participants are divided into smaller groups (typically of two to five people). the customers leave.

appropriately interpreted. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the first-line employees leave. Maintaining Self-Esteem. As much as possible.” as the saying goes. The circumstances in which the feedback is offered presents the change agent and client with a range of thorny issues—ethical considerations. For this reason. feedback also has the potential to be damaging. The change agent should also focus on the issue or behavior rather than making judgments about the intrinsic qualities of individuals or organizations. This approach allows for successive iterations of feedback. The change agent may wonder what to do in these circumstances. the provision that responses of individuals will not be revealed. Ethical Considerations. In general. he or she should present the feedback in a balanced fashion. Following are observations on each of these issues. “Your colleagues feel you could be more accessible during the day. Confidentiality. focus groups. and even organizations. In this scenario. The question. confidentiality concerns. one wave building upon the next.. The kind of information that is collected in individual and organizational assessments is very powerful. Nothing justifies breaching the confidentiality rule and dealing with the inevitable loss of trust that would follow. change agents must respect the confidentiality of the people who share information with them. and managers are seated in the outer circle of chairs. the self-esteem of participants—all balanced by the needs of the organization. “Knowledge is power. and the others move inward. The client’s self-esteem is more likely to be preserved if one says. On the other hand. and surveys are conducted under the rule of confidentiality. unless the matter involves life or death. Confidentiality is important and necessary to ensure that the responses being provided are candid and truthful. More often than not. The change agent’s primary ethical obligation is to ensure that individual and organizational assessments are carefully analyzed. “What does the change agent do if the news is bad?” frequently arises. supervisors sit in the inner circle of chairs. The goal of the change agent is to enable the client to use this information constructively and wisely for personal and organizational growth. some organizations fear losing control of climate-survey data and will restrict access to it—though doing so often ends up being self-defeating.” instead of “Your colleagues think 282 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Common Concerns and Dilemmas Delivering feedback is never simple. interviews. i. Sometimes he or she can generalize the information enough to convey the point without betraying the respondent.e.management. beginning with positive items before moving on to the negative ones. first-line employees are at the table. Sometimes the change agent will learn things that can have important consequences for an individual or organization but will be unable to share this information because doing so would violate the confidentiality rule. Eventually. Feedback can be wounding to the self-esteem of individuals. and presented in the proper context. groups. 2nd Edition.

doing so is a disservice to the client. REFERENCES Bell. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. CONCLUSION An old consulting maxim states.” However. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 283 . Los Angeles. will enable change agents and clients to address the most meaningful issues facing them. Paper presented at the Institute of Management Studies. 2nd Edition. New York: Macmillan. The feedback model presented in this paper.” Often what appears to be a key problem or issue—the event or condition that prompted the client to bring in the change agent—is only a symptom. “The presenting problem is not the problem. (1969). the change agent should never avoid giving bad news. July 19). On death and dying. C.you’re anti-social. E. CA. (1994. with its emphasis on client participation and an iterative approach to data collection and analysis. Kubler-Ross. Customer retention: The power of customers as partners.

which brought together many of the leading authors and contributors. the system as a whole is a much broader one. In 1994. Helping to assess the fit between a person and his or her leadership position. with implications for all aspects of human behavior. 2nd Edition.). Training by J. San Diego. The Enneagram illustrates nine distinct patterns of thinking. conflict management. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. By understanding a person’s Enneagram. They then describe the nine types of work styles that one’s followers might have and offer suggestions for how best to lead each type of person. and behaving.” or “nine letters”) is emerging on the organizational scene as a valuable tool for human resource development. Aspell and Dee Dee Aspell Abstract: The Enneagram is a conceptual framework for understanding human behavior and diversity. This system offers such benefits as the following: s s s s s s s Providing an objective framework of human behavior. interpersonal relationships. Participants reviewed the Enneagram from various perspectives. William Pfeiffer (Ed. The authors describe nine types of leader style and suggest the types of situations in which each style is most appropriate. ways of thinking. from a Greek word meaning “nine points. Recognizing the value of individual differences. team building. Building a stable framework for emotional issues. Identifying strengths and limitations of different leadership styles. Having profitable applications for areas such as communication. follow. motivation. but have now expanded to be used in human resource development and organizations. Interactions between people become more successful. Although this article provide only brief snapshots of the Enneagram as it applies to leaders and followers. Stanford University hosted the First International Enneagram Conference. Helping people discover and empower their personality and leadership styles. feeling. The Enneagram (pronounced ANY-a-gram. 284 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.„‚ LEADERSHIP STYLES AND THE ENNEAGRAM Patrick J. and time management. Being clearly and easily understood. and one entire track was devoted to the business perspective. others can better lead. The Enneagram system is a unique conceptual framework for understanding human behavior and diversity. s s Originally published in The 1995 Annual: Volume 1. or work with that person. and interpersonal stresses are reduced. Building understanding about various aspects of an organization. Its insights came into use in spirituality and psychology. problem solving. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .

Brief Characteristics of Leadership Styles* ONE Leaders: Stabilizers ONE leaders guide people to do what they should do according to principles or regulations.s s Helping people be effective with one another in relationships. different relationships. 1 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Leadership Style 1 Stabilizer 2 Supporter 3 Motivator 4 Personalist 5 Systemizer 6 Teamster 7 Cheerleader 8 Director 9 Reconciler What Matters About Tasks? Quality Service Efficiency Creativity Theory Industry Versatility Action Routine What Matters in Relationships? Order Needs Doing Sensitivity Intelligence Loyalty Sociability Control Harmony What Is the Underlying Motivation? Correct/Right Care/Help Goals/Results Uniqueness/Originality Knowlege/Insight Belongingness/Togetherness Satisfaction/Fulfillment Self-Determination/Independence Unity/Peace Figure 1. and Enabling people to increase their motivation. addressing these demands requires answers to the following questions: s s s What is to be done? What does the task require? Who is involved? Are relationships effective? How motivated are employees? Are they proactive and responsible in doing their jobs? Leaders deal with different situations involving different tasks. LEADERSHIP STYLES Leaders need to manage tasks and lead people according to the demands of the situation. * Copyright © 1993 by Aspell & Aspell. Supervision. as illustrated in Figure 1. Used with permission. and different motivations. and Counseling (Aspell & Aspell. Each style has certain characteristics and is most appropriate in certain situations. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 285 . Stabilizers have the following characteristics: A quick and systematic method of determining a person’s leadership style is The Enneagram Inventory ®: Discovering Yourself and Developing Your Style of Leadership. 2nd Edition. The purpose of this article is to use the Enneagram system to describe nine leadership styles1 and illustrate how understanding such styles can help in establishing effective leadership. 1993b).

Assisting people when they are stymied in dealing with a problem. Encouraging people to take initiative in solving problems and planning tasks. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s THREE Leaders: Motivators THREE leaders motivate people to take the initiative in achieving positive outcomes. When set cultural norms and values exist. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s TWO Leaders: Supporters TWO leaders encourage people to develop their individual talents in doing a job. Communicating general expectations in a friendly manner. and Finding what is best in people and coaching them to grow. When promoting high levels of customer service is desired. In developing participative teams that let all members utilize their skills. With punctual. and When deadlines must be met. Requiring quality performance. When thoroughness and attention to detail is demanded. formal policies are to be followed. Motivators have the following characteristics: s s Persuading people to work efficiently. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .s s s s s Following standard operating procedures. Making sure products and services measure up to clear criteria. When precise. 286 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and Treating people fairly. Insisting on technical competency and skills. 2nd Edition. and When training people to appreciate their talents. Communicating with enthusiasm and stimulating employee interest. hard-working employees. For monitoring and satisfying the needs of customers and employees. In facilitating the development of responsible employees. Supporters have the following characteristics: s s s s s Recommending help from employee assistance programs and human resources.

2nd Edition. Systematizers have the following characteristics: s s s Organizing ideas about the nature of tasks. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 287 . Being concerned about how decisions impact on people’s feelings. When distinctive ways to accomplish a task are desired. Pursuing objectives until they are met. When decisions are needed in order to put ideas into action quickly. When followers want to succeed and advance in their careers. Personalists have the following characteristics: s s s s s Offering a broad description of the task and required structure. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s FOUR Leaders: Personalists FOUR leaders allow individuals to express their talents in unique and special projects. and When intense emotions need to be handled.s s s Socializing and talking with employees. Respecting the special talents of individuals. Allowing followers to choose how to do their own projects. When projects need to be pushed. When exploring alternative ways of solving problems. and Encouraging competition in order to get results. When appreciating what is personally meaningful to employees. When employees show maturity in taking initiative. Permitting followers to follow their own imagination and intentions. and Inviting new and imaginative approaches to projects. Explaining employees’ responsibilities. and When ideas must be communicated effectively. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. In efforts to humanize the workplace with empathy. even if it means confronting people with higher authority. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s FIVE Leaders: Systematizers FIVE leaders help individuals to perform tasks by providing the necessary information.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s SEVEN Leaders: Cheerleaders SEVEN leaders foster positive climates for employee satisfaction on the job. Encouraging followers to anticipate positive outcomes. Teamsters have the following characteristics: s s s s s Seeing themselves and their followers as members of a team. and When leaders and/or followers possess a high sense of duty and responsibility. When certainty is desired before taking action. 288 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and Keeping emotions under control and the mind focused on problems and solutions. In order to understand what is happening in work situations. In order to maintain and/or develop team spirit. Relying on team efforts to solve problems. and Speaking in a lively way with metaphors and stories. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s SIX Leaders: Teamsters SIX leaders promote commitment and cooperation among followers. When following tradition and established ways of proceeding. and Fostering team thinking. 2nd Edition. Promoting loyalty and dependability among coworkers. When planning long-range projects. Wanting employees to collaborate for the common good. Cheerleaders have the following characteristics: s s s s s Motivating employees to be enthused about tasks. and When delegating responsibility to employees.s s Thinking clearly and logically before making decisions. When followers need to be shown a broad view of the purpose of their tasks. Boosting morale. When followers are willing to work hard. When a clear chain of command is preferred. Planning tasks for satisfactory results.

Listening calmly to complaints. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 289 . When the leader must be the one to take initiative and perform. When training inexperienced workers. When prompt and tough decisions are needed to complete a project. EIGHT Leaders: Directors EIGHT leaders direct followers by ordering them to do the job. and When a situation needs to be controlled.This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s When brainstorming new ideas and solutions. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s s s s s NINE Leaders: Reconcilers NINE leaders coordinate the activities of people to work together smoothly. Reconcilers have the following characteristics: s s s s s Mediating conflicts among people. and Taking time to make decisions. When looking for innovative strategies and practices. Directors have the following characteristics: s s s s s Asserting themselves in the face of challenging projects. Downplaying problems to accommodate people. This leadership style is most appropriate at the following times: s The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and Deciding independently how jobs are to be done. Doing jobs their own way. When there is a need to adapt to changing situations. In order to empower people to get along together. Convincing followers in a forceful manner. and In order to help employees learn new skills. When tackling different or challenging tasks. Being decisive and firm in taking charge. In order to stand up under pressure. Negotiating agreement between opposing views. 2nd Edition.

They also like to be thanked. 290 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. taking one step at a time in coming to reasonable conclusions. UNDERSTANDING OTHERS’ WORK STYLES Knowledge of the work styles of others is essential for effective leadership. Preferring to follow operational procedures. including people. Producers are good at deciding practical ways to use resources. Without this knowledge. under pressure. When doing routine work with set procedures. as a result. When a unified. can work to get things done quickly. Quality performers want to treat people fairly. they want results quickly. Work Style TWO: Helpers Helpers like to be with people in the workplace and show them that they are interested in them. acknowledged. and help them do their work. Work Style ONE: Quality Performers People with this work style work conscientiously to do a job correctly. and are good at thinking of ways to improve products or services. and usually pursue goals until they reach them. with knowledge of his or her followers. They work efficiently to get things done and. Helpers are interested in how decisions and projects affect people. a leader may not understand his or her followers. they can recall peoples’ names and use enthusiasm to persuade people. communicate by talking about results. Goal-oriented people.s s s s When there is a need to be realistic and down-to-earth. Such people tend to be sympathetic to—and respond to—the needs of others. They support others. Such people like to be thorough and accurate with the details of a project. create rapport. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . or validated. harmonious team is desired. make them feel welcome in a group. They are precise in stating facts. respected. and When the situation calls for a patient and even-tempered leader. appreciated. a leader can adapt his or her responses. he or she may send those followers information in a way that does not make them feel understood. they strive to ensure that each particular step in a task be done well. However. and lead the followers to develop their own talents and abilities. They are able to stay at one task for a long period of time and dislike being interrupted at work by nonwork-related conversation. Work Style THREE: Producers People with this work style enjoy talking with others about tasks and can motivate them to do their jobs.

People with this work style like the customary and established ways of doing a job. sometimes impulsively. Consequently. Thinkers dislike being interrupted on the job by phone calls. As the name suggests. Animators usually move quickly. They can be tough minded and direct. They are interested in innovative ideas and the possibilities of a situation. They tend to prefer communicating within a circle of trustworthy people. They are capable of working hard and working consistently on a single task without a break. people who belong to their own group or organization. People with this work style The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. they get to work on time and keep traditions and/or duties foremost in their minds. Thinkers like acquiring new insights and thinking skills. capable of rebuke or reprimand when necessary. Work Style EIGHT: Asserters Asserters like to take action and be in charge of a project. even in terms of how they feel about a particular project. Because they like to talk with people. Such people can be imaginative in exploring new possibilities and tend to imagine unique ways to get a job done. Work Style SEVEN: Animators People with this work style enjoy a variety of interests and like making people happy. Relaters feel most secure working within a group or organization and want to know how the group sees a situation before making decisions. People with this work style enjoy acquiring special skills for dealing with unique situations. 2nd Edition. However. Work Style SIX: Relaters Relaters are cooperative and like to work with reliable people. they prefer inner communication with their own feelings and emotions. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 291 . and exploring the speculative possibilities of theories and ideas. leading them often to become involved in more than one project. they tend to reflect before taking action. which can lead to their neglecting to act in some cases. They are satisfied working by themselves. however. especially by listening to a tape or reading alone. preferring silence in order to concentrate. often taking artistic or aesthetic approaches.Work Style FOUR: Expressionists Expressionists are concerned about the feelings of others and sound them out before acting. This means. Work Style FIVE: Thinkers People with this work style are good at analyzing problems. Animators like to familiarize themselves with new projects by conversing with others. that they dislike doing the same ordinary work over and over and may alternate between enthusiasm and lack of interest for a particular job. reflecting on the theory behind a project. They get enthused easily about new projects and tend to be impatient with routine jobs. Although they can apply themselves to a task for a long time.

Receptionists patiently consider the facts. they want to be calm and collected during each step in a task. and relationships. Their desire for people to get along leads them to accommodate others and to get along with many different kinds of people. 2nd Edition. a leader can adapt his or her responses by observing the appropriate principle (Figure 2).are willing to take on challenging projects and like to complete the projects they start. EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP With knowledge of the follower’s work style. and leading people to develop their talents and abilities. Personal principles (Aspell & Aspell. Used with permission. 292 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. work. they like disagreements to be settled as soon as possible and like to follow previously accepted agreements. The objective application of these principles requires that they be appropriately directed toward an individual’s work style in a specific work situation. matching the approach to the particular requirements of a situation. Because of their concern about people working in harmony. Leadership Principles* * Copyright © 1993 by Aspell & Aspell. a leader is more likely to be effective. Figure 2. By following the relevant principle. They do this by being able to work under pressure. make quick decisions. 1993b) originate from an individual’s leadership style and express the values that are important to him or her. creating rapport. Leadership that is anchored in principles steers a steady and stable course amid the changing situations of life. calmly reasoning one step at a time to a conclusion. and convince others to do things their way while rallying them to meet deadlines. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Work Style NINE: Receptionists People with this work style make people feel at ease.

being of service to customers and clients. finding personal expression in products and services. giving of time and energy to the organization. being practical in working out steps to attain goals. This means bonding with others to work as a team. keeping in mind a vision of the organization. assisting others in solving problems. This means creating unique products. Leading a Thinker (FIVE) Be intelligent. and keeping priorities in order. balancing personal and professional life. defining the mission of the organization. listening to what others are feeling as well as saying. „‚ 293 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. being in touch with one’s own feelings. Leading a Helper (TWO) Be caring. and being authentic and true. maintaining integrity under pressure. supporting people in their efforts to grow. respecting every person as a unique individual. people. expressing appreciation for the work effort of coworkers. asking relevant questions about the nature and purpose of the organization. making service special. calculating and putting in order useful means to reach goals. motivating oneself and others to attain goals. and encouraging subordinates to develop their talents. being aware of others’ feelings. being disciplined in pursuing goals. thinking reasonably and rationally about problems. This means living by ethical principles. persevering to succeed. focusing on what is personally meaningful for each person. and products/services. being friendly and warm to coworkers. intuiting original approaches to problems. 2nd Edition. striving for excellence at work. Leading a Producer (THREE) Be efficient. and grasping the connections between motivation. This means helping others in need. appreciating how others think. and competing with oneself to improve outcomes. being competent in performance. Leading a Relater (SIX) Be cooperative. being ambitious in accomplishing objectives. being insightful in work situations. This means being alert and observing products and services.Leading a Quality Performer (ONE) Be conscientious. forming positive personal relationships with others. Leading an Expressionist (FOUR) Be imaginative. anticipating the consequences of policies and strategies. treating others with fairness and objectivity. communicating effectively to coworkers. developing strategies to build trusting relationships. and productivity. breaking down complex problems into simpler ones. satisfaction. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . learning thoroughly the organization. This means setting goals to be achieved.

linear thinking—are found mostly in the leadership styles of the methodical One. giving others the freedom to grow. 2nd Edition. and dialectical Eight. and building positive morale among coworkers. being proactive and responsive to what is going on in the organization. the right-brain features—intuitive. balancing opposing interests to negotiate equitable settlements. On the other side. arranging to make things happen in a team. Leading an Asserter (EIGHT) Be proactive. the left-brain characteristics—analytical. spiral thinking—operate usually in the leadership styles of the affective Two. This means being receptive and open to suggestions. is represented by the unifying Nine. being direct and straightforward with others. goal-oriented Three. challenging coworkers to follow through in their commitments to the organization. and thinking in terms of a global vision that includes everyone in an organization. developing a mutual support system for coworkers. being committed to the team and organization. 294 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. being calm and stable during times of disagreement. being adventurous in exploring innovative possibilities. the harmonizer of opposites. taking action to complete projects. and trusting in oneself while depending on others. On the one side. determining what needs to be done to overcome obstacles. which connects the left and right brains. Leading a Receptionist (NINE) Be peace-making. listening patiently and gently to grievances of coworkers.recognizing and accepting the worth of others. and positive Seven. creative Four. The corpus callosum. This means being confident in one’s abilities. analytic Five. This means being flexible in adapting to new and changing situations. and defending others against unfairness. planning for a more enjoyable workplace. accepting the diversity of others as positives. using power and authority for constructive purposes. inclusive Six. imaginative. respecting different approaches to problems. being courageous in facing difficult times. generating new concepts and options for meetings. being reliable and hard working. rational. CONCLUSION The Enneagram theory of leadership is consistent with the right-and-left brain model. inspiring others with enthusiasm. Leading an Animator (SEVEN) Be positive. welcoming suggestions about how people can get along together. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . promoting satisfaction among coworkers. developing a sense of belonging among coworkers. mediating disagreements among opposing persons or parties.

& Aspell. P. D.J. & Aspell.. The Enneagram inventory 7 ®: For creating teams and building teamwork. P. Aspell. Aspell.The full concept of leadership involves both personal.. D.D. P. & Aspell.. D.D. REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY Aspell. Pfeiffer (Ed. San Antonio. & Aspell. (1994). P. Aspell.. (1994). P. The 1994 annual: Developing human resources (pp. Goldberg.. TX: Lifewings ®. TX: Lifewings ®. The Enneagram inventory ® : Building better relationships with people. & Aspell. 2nd Edition. (1994). D. TX: Lifewings ® Forster. D..). Aspell. (1994). Enneagram workbook for total quality empowerment. supervision and counseling. Aspell. P. San Antonio. San Antonio.D. Unlimited empowerment: Discovering and enhancing your personal and professional life via the Enneagram. TX: Lifewings® Aspell. TX: Lifewings ®.. M. (1992). The Enneagram inventory ®: Discovering yourself and developing your style of leadership. The Enneagram inventory ®: Styles of communication and effectively influencing people. San Antonio.. P.D. San Antonio.. 243-255). Understanding personality types in the workplace. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. & Aspell. (1993c). Oakland. D.. TX: Lifewings ®. The Enneagram provides a blueprint for an allencompassing notion of leadership that adapts to the diversity of leaders in the workplace. The Enneagram: A key to understanding organizational systems. TX: Lifewings ®. P. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 295 .. the variety of followers. (1994).D. D. P. P. TX: Lifewings ®. San Antonio. Aspell. D.D. San Antonio. & Aspell. Aspell. & Aspell. CA: Author. P. San Antonio. D. & Aspell. objective.. (1994). & O’Hanrahan. (1994). The Enneagram inventory ®: Total quality transformation. P.. S. San Antonio. Empowering relationships: Discovering and enhancing your personal and interpersonal life via the Enneagram. D. TX: Lifewings ®: Aspell.D. (1994). TX: Lifewings ®.D. & Aspell.. and the changing challenges of the marketplace.D. Nine personal leadership principles. D. Aspell.. Aspell. San Antonio. & Aspell. P. D. P. (1993a). CA: Pfeiffer & Co.D. TX: Lifewings ®. (1994). TX: Lifewings ®. (1994).D. (1994). San Antonio. D. Aspell. The Enneagram inventory ®: Styles of conflict management.D. & Aspell. TX: Lifewings ®. San Antonio. The Enneagram inventory ®: For career and life management. subjective qualities and specific. San Antonio.D. & Aspell. (1994). D.. D. In J. P. Aspell. P. San Diego. TX: Lifewings ® Aspell.D.W.D. Profiles of the nine personal professional Enneagram styles. (1993b). situational needs. & Aspell. Chart of the nine Enneagram personality types and professional styles. San Antonio. (1994). The Enneagram inventory ® : To discover and develop your personal leadership style. The Enneagram inventory ®: Styles of thinking and problem-solving. San Antonio. & Aspell. TX: Lifewings ®.

William Pfeiffer (Ed. Affirmative action has been successful in bringing more women and minorities into organizations. and ethnic heritages bring to the workplace. At least nine of those answers will derive from the premise that diversity has to do with the unique qualities that people of different races. you will get ten different answers. Before your organization contributes to this statistic. has affirmative action programs that come into play in addressing the issue of diversity. you should ask. like several other nations. 2nd Edition.„‚ DANGER—DIVERSITY TRAINING AHEAD: ADDRESSING THE MYTHS OF DIVERSITY TRAINING AND OFFERING ALTERNATIVES Paula Grace VALUING AND MANAGING DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE “Valuing diversity” and “managing diversity” are popular buzz words these days. and other interested parties have begun to embrace “valuing diversity” as the newest hope for business. The underlying logic is that if we could learn more about the different racial and ethnic groups with whom we work—as well as the differences between men and women—we could all get along better and be more productive in the process. affirmative action officers.). Millions of dollars will be spent this year on diversity training based on this logic. yet there is no research data to support it. to be able to get along together better? To improve morale? Or is the company simply joining the bandwagon because someone read the Hudson Institute’s report Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the Twenty-First Century (Johnston & Packer. the United States.” Human resource managers. The common belief is that organizations will benefit from appreciating these unique qualities and from learning to accommodate the challenges that these unique qualities present. 1987). but it has not been successful in retaining them or in helping them to climb the organizational ladder. If you ask ten people what they mean. Thousands of organizations have jumped on the diversity-training bandwagon and embarked on the road to “valuing and managing diversity. and anticipates increasing diversity?” Originally published in The 1994 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. diversity task-force leaders. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . CA: Pfeiffer & Company. the era of valuing diversity has begun. training directors. genders. As a result of the push to appreciate people’s unique qualities and the need to go further than simply incorporating women and minorities into the organizational fold. “Why is my company investing in diversity training? To be able to ‘value’ diversity? What does that mean? To enable employees to understand one another better. In addition. 296 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. San Diego.

True diversity lies in the unique differences between individual people.THE MYTHS OF DIVERSITY TRAINING Diversity is indeed of primary importance to the success of organizations in the 1990s. It is a result of not only group affiliations. or ethnicity. race. there are plenty of blacks who are outside that group norm.S. class. I have a hard time believing that Margaret Thatcher brought a special “female” perspective to government in Britain or that Clarence Thomas brings a special “black” perspective to the U. we automatically move into the dangerous position of describing them in terms of group norms. The chances are that there is no reliable way of defining such perspectives. Race. we are robbing individual people of their unique contributions. For example. For every black who fits the group norm of being black. and managers would do well to explore the myths and facts surrounding this topic. we assemble people into large groups. Although there are some characteristics that all women or all blacks share. and Ethnicity The problem with this myth is that in order to classify people by gender. beliefs. and weaknesses based on gender or race. This skin-deep approach ignores the fact that we are all products of multiple groups of which we are members. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. these characteristics are far outweighed by the individual uniqueness that each person carries within him or her. Every time we define diversity in terms of gender. skills. for every woman who fits the group norm of being a woman. because any of these categorizations carries with it a set of connotations that has very little to do with who you are. family. Just as I am uncomfortable being labeled a white female. but also interaction with the environment. Supreme Court. concerns. because this label assumes a certain mind-set. we devalue people’s unique qualities (beliefs. and set of challenges and concerns. By defining diversity in terms of explicit group affiliations. politics. most obvious group affiliations. there are plenty of women who are outside that group norm. or ethnicity. and individual psychological and social orientations. we tend to assign that person a set of behaviors. 2nd Edition. one should be able to point to specific definitions of “female” and “black” that fully describe how these group perspectives were and are being demonstrated. With so much at stake. but not in the way that 95 percent of organizations approach the issue. race. successful survival strategies. which is exactly the opposite of what the term “diversity” is intended to reflect. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 297 . If this were the case. consultants. Myth 1: Diversity Is a Matter of Gender. education). belief structure. and so forth) as well as their less obvious group memberships (such as religion. you might be uncomfortable being labeled a black male or a Hispanic female or an Asian female or a white male. trainers. strengths. When we classify someone based on explicit variations such as gender or race. values. By focusing exclusively on the outer.

coupled with moral and social imperatives. 1985. has a factory outside of Brussels. Raising awareness about minority groups and their problems necessitates focusing on the group. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 1981. An environment that respects and honors diverse viewpoints and values. Flemish-speaking males. indistinguishable mass. that has made the business community so conscious of diversity and so desirous of recruiting people of color. Tajfel. 1982). All of the employees are white. people tend to think of others as outsiders. but the facts are otherwise. and ethnic minorities. it is important to remember that diverse viewpoints and values do not arise exclusively from diversity in race. Talking about minority cultures or “experiencing” another group’s culture may appear to cause positive changes in the 298 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. as for any organization. does stand a better chance of producing good results than one that does not. is to create an environment in which this diversity is allowed to be expressed so that it can add to the overall mixture of options available to the organization. Belgium. When we focus on group differences. Perhaps it is this portent of the future. race. One of my clients. categorizing all outsiders together into one faceless. Interpersonal uniqueness. 2nd Edition. The challenge for this client. the true foundation of diversity. 1986. Myth 3: Diversity Training Should Focus on Raising Awareness of Minority Groups and the Problems They Face This myth is perhaps the most dangerous in that it exerts such influence on the majority of diversity-training programs being offered in organizations.S. Stephan. and ethnic minorities in business does not automatically lead to enhanced business performance. women. Talking about our own group affiliations and how other groups are different from ours actually increases the boundaries between ourselves and others. Sherif & Sherif. both about work and about life. gender. At the intergroup level. For many years the research on group effectiveness has demonstrated that decision-making processes that encourage the expression of alternative views produce superior decisions. Brown & Turner.Myth 2: A Diverse Work Force Necessarily Produces Good Results As mentioned previously. Dovidio & Gaertner. 1958. for example. is buried by group stereotypes and unconscious prejudices. When you scratch the surface. 1969. or ethnicity—necessarily produces good results. On the surface it may appear that there is no diversity in this workforce. you find a wide range of viewpoints and values. the authors of the now-famous Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the Twenty-First Century. we have no choice but to include more people of color. According to Johnston and Packer (1987). women. However. or ethnicity. than there will be white males by the end of this decade. there is no evidence to support the myth that diversity—as defined by the explicit indicators of gender. women. and ethnic minorities in the work force because there will be far more of them available to work in the U. our own perceptions of one another move from an interpersonal to an intergroup level. But the research of the last forty years rejects the approach of heightening awareness of groups by discussing group differences (Allport. The problem is that including more people of color. on the other hand.

The Wall Street Journal acidly suggested that. 1981. 2nd Edition. Jr. and minorities into positions of power does not automatically cause the benefits of diversity to suddenly spring forth. 1985. it is a mistake to assume that diversity is defined only by gender.short term. “I’d be stuck playing Welshmen for the rest of my life. Dovidio & Gaertner.” Actors’ Equity did not. or Minorities Are Qualified To Do Diversity Training As has already been mentioned. Tajfel. Also. For moral. who were both acting in Shakespearean plays at that time in New York. We can all think The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Sherif & Sherif. 1992). This action would simply mean replacing one group with another group. however. or minorities are qualified to train in the area of diversity: We might rob ourselves of much of the valuable research and debate on the topic of diversity. social. or ethnicity. It is certainly true that the existing power structure in most large organizations in the U. The problem comes when we believe that the white-male power structure should be overthrown and replaced by one or more groups of people defined by gender. or ethnicity because this assumption excludes deeper expressions of diversity. 1986. Women. However. then it must be true that these people are qualified to train only in that area—an absurdity.” Pryce responded that if this doctrine prevailed. apply the same principle to the black actors Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. and (most compelling to the business community) financial reasons. announcing that it could not condone “the casting of a Caucasian actor in the role of a Eurasian. Brown & Turner. race. Perhaps Arthur Schlesinger. race.S. women. but many people draw the wrong conclusion from it. 1969. Promoting people of color. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 299 . women. women to women’s history. not only whites but also the disabled should protest the casting of Denzel Washington as Richard III because Washington lacked a hunchback (Schlesinger. 1958. consists of white males. if people of color. Stephan. (1992) says it best: The doctrine that only blacks can teach and write black history leads inexorably to the doctrine that blacks can teach and write only black history as well as to inescapable corollaries: Chinese must be restricted to Chinese history. social-science research indicates that this approach will not break down barriers between people but will actually reinforce stereotypes and prejudices (Allport. 105) An incident from the arena of acting highlights the negative impact of ascribing to this absurdity. or minorities are the only people qualified to train in the area of diversity. There is yet another danger in ascribing to this absurd myth that only people of color. 1982). (p. which is being carried on today by people who do not fit these narrow restrictions. women. Actors’ Equity tried to prevent the British actor Jonathan Pryce from playing in New York the role he created in London in Miss Saigon. Myth 4: Only People of Color. Myth 5: The White-Male Power Structure Needs To Be Overthrown This myth may have elements of truth in it. this power structure needs to be changed. according to the principle invoked. and so on.

” Valuing diversity and gaining the diversity advantage have to do with far more than explicit indicators. behavior. 300 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. which in the U. Assimilation deliberately frustrates individual uniqueness. often the exclusive. To this end.” In other words. Regardless of race. regardless of race. women. or experience. behavior.” When women and minorities do not “fit” into the corporate structure. it forms a culture. According to Dr. or experience reside in the fundamental culture of the organization itself. p. the sooner we can stop abusing white males and “celebrating” our differences and.” Dr. 2nd Edition. president/founder of the American Institute for Managing Diversity. which is the objective of most diversity initiatives. start creating workplaces in which individual diversity makes profound. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Such an organization is not truly “valuing diversity. competent people from receiving equal opportunities in education and employment. gender. Again. but is still inhospitable to differing views. they suppress any innovative or creative ideas that are not part of the mainstream way of operating. The sooner we understand this. positive contributions to our organizations. An organization forms itself around common goals and quickly develops norms and values by which it simplifies and sustains its social existence. But simply promoting people of color. “Affirmative action has been the chief.S. or ethnicity. Roosevelt Thomas (1991. managers usually offer special interventions to help “better equip” them to overcome obstacles to their assimilation. 17). We should promote all people who have earned the right to promotion. Thomas (1991. The resulting organization is diverse in explicit ways. The barriers to diversity in thought. p. instead. Myth 6: Diversity Is Affirmative Action for the Nineties Legally mandated affirmative action programs were and are appropriate responses to hiring practices that exclude capable. The goal of affirmative action is to bring women and minorities into organizations and allow them opportunities to move up the corporate ladder.of people we know or work with who are members of minority groups yet typify the cultural values of the current power structure. Margaret Thatcher and Clarence Thomas come to mind. They avoid offering suggestions that would make them stand out. however. on playing it safe. strategy for including and assimilating minorities and women into the corporate world. appears to be balancing the assimilation objectives of affirmative action with the ability to capitalize on individual uniqueness. and minorities does not ensure diversity in thought. “Because assimilating people want to fit in. This culture becomes a screen for membership and leadership. is often white and male. special hiring concessions and training programs have been developed to help both the newly hired women and minorities and the people who will manage them. gender. many people can join and climb as long as they conform to the culture. “they focus on doing the expected or accommodating the norm. 8) says. The dilemma. The goal of most affirmative action programs is assimilation. or ethnic heritage.

cannot be trusted to exercise authority appropriately. to whom. The best answer is the one that most appropriately prepares the organization to confront its changing environment of resources (including people). diversity initiatives will enfranchise all employees. Seen in this light. “Why are we cooperating?” is the survival question of every organization. and markets. When properly instituted. gender. AND SUPERORDINATE GOALS Power For most organizations. technologies. but neither are they meant to enfranchise women and minorities exclusively. or ethnicity. Formal authority has its ultimate source in the consent of the managed to the purpose for which the authority is used. perhaps bordering on rebellious. diversity could become a strong benefit to the organization and a real aid to the aims of affirmative action. Affirmative action programs have not been successful in fully enfranchising women and minorities in organizations because the organizations themselves have not been ready to receive them. But people who hold different opinions have historically been seen as disloyal. Diversity of knowledge and opinion is the only way to improve the organization’s ability to answer its survival question. regardless of race. Only by recognizing that a diversity of perspectives is beneficial to organizations will authority be granted to people who express differing opinions. the tolerance of differences changes the way in which they use power. Diversity initiatives are not meant to replace affirmative action. the very assumptions that produce the organizational cultures into which people are expected to assimilate. Most organizations have not questioned the basic assumptions under which they operate. on the other hand. The preservation of diversity within the organization is the preservation of survival The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The determination and continual reaffirmation of the organization’s purpose is precisely where diversity of experience and perception has its greatest payoff. People could move up in the organization with less conformity and with a greater expression of the uniqueness through which they will contribute to accomplishing the organization’s goals. This purpose is always related to how much authority is granted. Expressions of different values have been perceived by those in power as disapproval of their authority or disagreement with the stated purpose of the organization. The ability to create a culture in which diversity of knowledge and opinion is not just passively tolerated but is actively required is the key to organizational effectiveness. therefore. but it is time to expand the perspective of what affirmative action is meant to accomplish. are designed to capitalize on the unique perspectives and experiences that every employee brings to the job. People in positions of power often fear that people from different backgrounds will not be able to commit fully to the organization’s purpose and. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 301 . 2nd Edition.Diversity initiatives. COGNITIVE CONFLICT. POWER. It is not yet time to abandon affirmative action programs. and how it is used.

gender. organizations begin valuing those whose expertise and experience are genuinely different. but they also must be seen as forever imperfect and in need of continual improvement. This behavior of managers is sometimes called “disagree and commit”—a necessary skill in the exercise of authority in organizations that value and preserve diversity. They will have to patiently persist in the expression of their own views until they are satisfied that they have been understood. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . The rule is appreciated as a tool. They will have to demonstrate understanding of positions different from their own. They respect their own and one another’s intellectual integrity. How does an organization function when agreement and conformity are not requirements of participation? And how is organizational tolerance of differences related to agreement and conformity? As previously mentioned. organizations begin changing their expectations of how authority should be exercised. and ethnic similarity) in the people who are given managerial authority. They do not need to pretend to “believe” in the rule. 302 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. that is. One organization that I know has so deeply integrated this notion of “disagree and commit” that people who sit passively in meetings. as it currently is through competition in the global market and all large regional markets. at engaging in the decision-making process without insisting on agreement or conformity. who do not ask questions. And regardless of their disagreements. As the relationship between survival and diversity proves itself. It is the essence of what is meant by power exercised with tolerance. nor must they expect anyone else to. In short. people are under no obligation to change their positions or come into agreement with other positions. however. Cognitive Conflict Those who bring diverse perceptions to the decision-making process in organizations must also have certain skills of expression and persistence. not as a commandment engraved in stone. they will be valued for their skill at cognitive conflict. under obligation to reach resolution. Such temporary rules are important in order for the organization to take action from day to day. studies on group effectiveness have demonstrated that decision-making processes that value cognitive conflict lead to superior decisions.options. beliefs. they treat their colleagues with respect. Instead of valuing conformity (including racial. or who refuse to challenge colleagues soon find themselves on the outside. Diversity of values. 2nd Edition. They will have to listen as much as they talk. Managers commit to explaining and enforcing the rule until it proves itself no longer effective in serving the organization’s goals. opinions. In a cognitive-conflict mode. But difference will not be the only criterion for success. A resolution can be thought of as a temporary organizational rule. and knowledge is so prized that the organization has made cognitive conflict and “disagree and commit” integral components in how it runs every meeting and how it makes every decision. They are.

Achievement within the organizational structure. gender. is valued above all else. training sessions will not help unless senior management is committed to creating an environment that supports and values individual differences. Superordinate Goals In my work I refer to the concept of all-encompassing mutual goals as “superordinate goals. their participation and contributions will inevitably increase and will form the foundation from which a diversity of knowledge and opinions can be expressed. related areas). And it is an organization in which the best contributors in the field want to work. its members stand a good chance of viewing one another with less prejudice as a result of working together. Without such support. the goals tend to supersede individual differences that might interfere with their achievement. HOW TO PRESENT ALTERNATIVE VIEWPOINTS OF DIVERSITY What To Watch for There are many challenges to presenting alternative viewpoints.The results? This organization of over twenty thousand people is one of the most successful firms in its industry and leads the market in launching new products and maintaining market share. and opinions. The purposes of the organization are clear to all employees. It has attracted and retained a wide assortment of people with differing values. regardless of race. And when different people are able to work together without the interference of prejudice or stereotyping. training holds no value. or ethnicity. who also happen to represent a wide range of races and ethnic heritages as well as both genders. This organization has learned that when organizational purposes become mutual goals that are shared by the work force. As already noted. Even if a group fails to achieve a superordinate goal.” Superordinate goals serve a vital function in organizations. This commonality of purpose provides the foundation for the variety of approaches. people find it easy to support them. and solutions that are introduced daily. Here are just a few of the situations that you may encounter: 1. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 303 . races. and genders to work together successfully while simultaneously reducing their levels of prejudice and stereotyping. Working on superordinate goals is the most underutilized yet effective means of enabling people from different cultures. suggestions. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. As those purposes are all related to remaining number one in their industry (and breaking into new. and all employees can voice their opinions about those purposes. experiences. Although there is a lot of emphasis on training as the preferred method for addressing diversity in organizations. Lack of support. All systems are set up to reward achievement. a diversity of knowledge and opinions is the only way to improve an organization’s ability to answer its survival question.

In their organizations. begin by asking some hard questions: 1. What To Emphasize If you focus on the following three points. People who want to concentrate on groups instead of each individual person’s uniqueness. If the answer relates to an 304 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Only when diverse viewpoints are allowed to be constantly expressed and acted on will the organization benefit from diversity. and ethnic heritage and try to emphasize each person’s uniqueness. Diversity cannot be defined simply by gender. 2. or affirmative action—not the domain of organizational or cultural change. human resources. If you decide to approach diversity beyond race. Even if you explain to these people that the only way to begin exploring interpersonal differences is by gaining an awareness of one’s own assumptions and values. diversity initiatives fall into the domain of training. or ethnic heritage. Where To Begin To assist your organization’s diversity initiative. your efforts with these people may feel like shouting into a hurricane. These people will expect you to provide tips for getting along with and working with certain kinds of people or groups. 2nd Edition. People who want shortcuts for dealing with those from different cultural backgrounds. you will encounter some people who want to speak solely as representatives of their groups and want to talk to other participants solely as representatives of their respective groups. 4.2. People who are not interested in learning about their own assumptions and values. They will not be pleased with your approach. Organizations must be willing to tolerate beliefs. It must include much deeper individual designations. Managing diversity is often a matter of uncovering opportunities for employees to work together on teams to achieve superordinate goals. 3. 3. These people’s sole responsibility is to implement diversity training. such as basic assumptions and values. your efforts will remain headed in the right direction: 1. they will want to begin immediately applying a system or model of diversity to their work situations. you have some serious work ahead of you in separating diversity from affirmative action. which can be shown to have a more direct impact on the organization. 5. Affirmative action officers and diversity-training managers who have no real power to effect change. Instead. values. they will not see the benefit of self-knowledge. race. Given the magnitude of the diversity problems that most organizations are facing. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Why is my organization interested in the issue of diversity? If the answer to this question relates to affirmative action goals. and styles of work that do not represent the status quo. gender.

If the answer to this question is no. They may need to be trained in cognitive conflict so that they have the skills and resources to tolerate conflict successfully. human resources. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 305 . Is the diversity initiative being championed by someone at the top? If the answer to this question is no. diversity may constitute a regular item in a meeting checklist used to determine how well a group is functioning. The art of creating superordinate goal structures lies in selecting the project. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. because a diverse work force is the greatest asset that any organization has—but only if the people in the organization are able to appreciate and empower those who are different from themselves. For example. then be aware that the problem with any effort shorter than five years is that your shortterm gains will fall apart over time. 3. What opportunities exist to create superordinate goals that are compelling to the employees and beneficial to the organization? Forget trying to inspire employees to achieve the goals outlined in the company mission statement. or affirmative action department. Group members must be given latitude for expression and individual contribution. it must relate to the organization’s effectiveness or performance. The superordinate goal cannot be artificially contrived. Managing diversity is a long-term process. and then facilitating the process so that the team members have a chance to work together without impediments. Read some of the books and articles listed in the References and Bibliography section that follows. selecting the team members. 2. then you are on your way. not a year-long series of training programs. Superordinate goals that are compelling to employees are projects that they have some control over. They should be rewarded for speaking up. Although the mission statement represents a superordinate goal. and for challenging the status quo. then you should consider finding such a champion and selling him or her on your diversity initiative before you commit time and money to the process. and that they know make a difference to the success of the organization. 2nd Edition. Does my organization have a long-term commitment to diversity? A “long-term” commitment is at least five years. you have some serious work ahead of you in educating and enlisting the power brokers at the top of the organization. for most employees it is just a sign in the lunchroom or a plaque on the wall. Awareness of diversity (in the form of diverse views and values) can become an integrated part of all group facilitation. Have I done my homework? Become familiar with the trends in diversity training. Short-term fixes not only do not work but also are detrimental to the organization’s effectiveness. for suggesting alternative solutions. Know enough about diversity to dispute approaches that are unproved and could waste the organization’s money. Your efforts will be worthwhile.initiative generated from the training. 4. that they can monitor the results of. If the answer relates to enhanced business performance. 5.

S.L. (1990). Psychology of intergroup relations (2nd ed. reflections on a multicultural society. Beyond race and gender: Unleashing the power of your total work force by managing diversity. Stephan. Thomas. In L. N. From affirmative action to affirming diversity.T.. (1958). 599-658). J. New York: Doubleday-Anchor... W. discrimination. S. New York: Random House. 778-793.. (1981). New York: Harper and Row. Fiske S.. England: Cambridge University Press. (1979). R. Johnston.). Etcoff. Racism. Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol.E. Indianapolis.M. IN: Hudson Institute. Worchel. Harvard Business Review.R. (1991). (1986). Miles. (1989).L.. The handbook of social psychology (3rd ed. Tajfel. In G.B. R.F. New York: St. Social identity and intergroup relations. Social psychology. H. (1978). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . W.). Prejudice. The content of our character. England: Blackwell. The disuniting of America. Workforce 2000: Work and workers for the twenty-first century. Steele. R. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds. & Packer. 107-117. Intergroup behavior. (1990). Sherif.. 68(2). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (1992). Dovidio. 306 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. New York: Norton. D. Taylor. M.. Martin’s Press.REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY Allport.W. S.. New York: AMACOM. New York: Academic Press. Berkowitz (Ed. (1969). 36(7). (1982).. Intergroup relations. New York: Academic Press.G.E. (1987). and racism.W. S. 2. The categorical and contextual bases of person memory and stereotyping. London: Routledge. (1986). & Gaertner. & Austin. A cognitive-attributional analysis of stereotyping.). Schlesinger. G. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.R. R. Thomas. Cambridge. (1985).. A. A. A. Brown. The nature of prejudice.C. 12). C. Vol. pp. Hamilton. & Turner. & Ruderman. Oxford. 2nd Edition. W. J. & Sherif.

Power used wisely provides others with reassurance and steadiness and frees up energy for making key changes. role models of people who have a high degree of power and exhibit a high level of caring are still rare. The concept of role clarity is introduced as central to a consultant’s ability to assist a client during such a power shift. and it is up to consultants to help them through this change. This article examines myths and realities about power and the significance of role clarity for managers and internal and external consultants. and consultants must use constructive power to accomplish major changes in organizations. leaders who rely solely on authoritarianism are rapidly losing the power to make effective change. Actually. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Many leaders and managers are experiencing difficulty with this shift. William Pfeiffer (Ed. There is a great need for leaders and consultants who are comfortable with power. Power is simply applied energy. Constructive power is the energy to get things done. Clearly leaders. top-down power structures to more collaborative. A second myth is that leaders lose power when they give up the control style. MYTHS AND REALITIES One myth bedeviling the shift of power in organizations is that power is bad. The exciting shift from authoritarian. Although people are beginning to believe otherwise. who use it wisely. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. and who do not abdicate their responsibilities. The failure to use power is perceived as a lack of leadership skills. it is constructive or destructive depending on how it is used. and it causes great anxiety during change. This article explores some of the myths related to power and how these myths are inhibiting the power shift. It is more accurate to say that leaders are changing forms of Originally published in The 1996 Annual: Volume 2.„‚ THE CHANGING FACE OF POWER: HOW CAN CONSULTANTS PREPARE TO HELP MANAGERS THROUGH THE POWER SHIFT? Linne Bourget Abstract: The power structure in today’s organizations is beginning to shift from the “old” control style to a more collaborative style. team-related forms of power has raised perplexing issues and questions for leaders and consultants. 2nd Edition. The shifting of roles and power structures does not justify abdicating power.). It also offers perspectives and raises questions that consultants and managers need to explore as they work together to make this shift successfully. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 307 . I have seen as much needless suffering in organizations from the underuse of power as I have from its overuse. Consulting by J. San Diego. employees.

The team members faced some tough moments but were proud and pleased with their success—and rightly so. Sometimes hybrids of the two kinds of power appear. A third myth is that directive power (clear delegation of tasks without the fearbased authoritarian trappings) is no longer welcome because it is too much like the “old school. rather than expecting clients to know which consulting services they 308 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Consultants need to coach leaders and managers on how to best use consulting services. A more positive example of hybrid power stems from my first quality-improvement project with a client manager in a computer company. yet they can be upsetting to those involved. This coaching is even more important when clients are working through the power shift and are uncertain. he would end up with a different form of power that would unleash his staff’s potential and free him for other things.” He insisted that his staff become more participative. For example. and stressed. a senior executive set up a team to solve a problem. He knew that in giving up one form of power and control. Because of the increasing demand for collaborative power. About fifteen minutes into our first meeting. “Good.power.” Not true. you are rigidly participative. For example. THE NEW HYBRIDS The transition process from authoritarian to collaborative power is a new phenomenon and thus can make for awkward situations. people hunger for leaders who can be directive and decisive while also empowering others to act. and he was very straightforward about his own role and the difficulties involved in the power shift. and make more decisions. rejected the team’s solutions. Although insisting on participation seems paradoxical. In a transition. take more responsibility. The manager knew what was necessary for success. confused. We’ll work well together. This outcome was upsetting and disempowering to team members and weakened the executive’s credibility. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . He was also willing to let go of some of his power. “I understand your management style. more power is available in making this shift than in not doing so. you do understand me. consultants must be more up-front about their own power and roles. Changes in the leadership role because of the power shift necessitate changes in the consultants’ roles. This manager had requested a quality-circle approach to making some much-needed changes in his financial operation. change leaders and managers may not know how to use consulting skills most effectively. rather than losing power itself. Even with the increasing use of consulting services. 2nd Edition. and then used her own ideas. even though doing so was a challenge for him.” He beamed and said. Aspects of consulting that will be most helpful for the client’s situation can be highlighted. the project was a great success. I smiled and said. These hybrids are to be expected in a major transition without precedent.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . decision making. to be an internal consultant.should use. To be helpful to clients in times of changing power. collaborating. I know that I can reach more people—and enjoy myself more—by operating independently and bringing in colleagues when needed as project associates. To achieve such clarity. causing more anxiety. the consultant will find that role clarity is a key source of power. Role modeling the use of power based on inner clarity is a core skill for consultants and is essential in helping clients make it through this challenging shift. and so on. and purpose. that makes one feel most “at home.” Each consultant role expresses different types of power. vision. to be a senior partner in a consulting firm. POWER AND ROLE CLARITY: QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION The following questions may help consultants and client managers clarify their approaches to power and roles: 1. The job of the consultant is to lower anxiety. To be able to model serenity for clients during a time of change is an enormous contribution. that feeling will ripple through the client’s organization. though. How comfortable are you with your own power? What issues do you need to clear up in order to be clear and comfortable? 2. otherwise part of the consultant’s awareness and energy will be tied up in internal conflict. chances to pursue an executive career. I have been offered other options. If a consultant reveals inner conflict. not to raise it. a consultant must first be clear about his or her personal mission. I have survived temptations and challenges to my decision and have still held my ground. As an external. and both managers and nonmanagerial personnel need to be shown how to take responsibility for their choices. It is best to honor oneself by choosing the role that feels right. Who are your role models for the constructive use of power? „‚ 309 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. recommending. ROLE CLARITY AND CONSULTANTS’ POWER When working with clients who are making the shift from authoritarian to collaborative forms of power. 2nd Edition. Consultants must not only explain their roles in detail before projects start but also remind clients of these roles periodically during projects. I decided to retain the role I had originally adopted. independent consultant. Because I am at peace with how my external consulting role expresses constructive power. or to grow my own firm into a larger operation. a consultant must first be at peace with his or her choice of roles. delegating. creating options. for example. In all cases. This clarity gives a consultant the power of self-awareness and thus the ability to model more effectively for client managers. This is a decision I have made and reconfirmed several times. Client managers need to be shown how to let go of control. Like many of you. To be clear on the consulting role means being at peace with operating as a consultant.

What would it look like if you used your power with confidence and were comfortable with that power? 6. a consultant should be sure to answer them for himself or herself in order to be able to speak to the issues that arise in the process. For what aspects of power do you have no role models? What habits have you adopted in their absence? How well do these habits work for you? 5. it is important to work outside of the immediate reporting structure at least part of the time. What is your ideal role and use of constructive power? What are the issues to be resolved on the way to living your ideal? These are challenging questions. for the issues involved require frequent intervention. It is a consultant’s responsibility to provide an expert viewpoint that is independent of the organizational culture. What fulfilling avenues for expressing power does your current role allow? 7. and the answers are different for each person. The power shift discussed in this paper is a global issue deserving significant consideration. What did/do these role models give you that is helpful? What do you see that is not helpful? 4. When possible. Norms and cultures are powerful—they can shift a person’s thinking before he or she realizes it. What fulfilling aspects of power are not included in your current role? How important are they to you? 8. swapping assignments with other internal consultants and debriefing afterward may be helpful. For internal consultants. continual twoway clarification of expectations is essential between clients and consultants and between managers and their employees. the more he or she hinders. the more he or she can help. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Careful. ROLE CLARITY AND ADVOCACY CONSULTING The power of combining role clarity with advocacy consulting represents a key skill-set to model for clients. 2nd Edition. AN INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE Consultants can and should “roll up their sleeves” and truly participate in the implementation of a power shift.3. the less clarity a consultant brings. The more personal clarity a consultant brings to the process. Keeping this aspect of the role clear strengthens a consultant’s power as a role model and reassures the client of the consultant’s objectivity. Before using these questions with clients. Yet consultants need to maintain objectivity in order to provide a larger perspective. The power that comes from role clarity about living out an organization’s vision lies at the heart of successful transformation from authoritarian to 310 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. to keep from being co-opted by the culture there. and answering them requires a great deal of reflection.

As clients know I will not intrude on their decision making. Advocacy consulting means that I stand for certain things. I use frequent process observation and feedback. I have maintained role clarity. Constructive power involves getting satisfaction from the best solution. not just from one’s own contributions. When I serve as an advocate in a client’s business decision. If an issue is not raised. a shocked silence pervaded the room. regardless of the source. To my surprise. In one client meeting I withdrew my idea after I heard a better one from a team member. ADVOCATING AND LETTING GO: A BALANCE OF POWER With power issues.collaborative power. explaining that I thought her idea was superior. 2nd Edition. but I do not make them. team members said that they couldn’t believe I had relinquished my idea so easily. that an organization’s senior executives know that verbal attacks and put-downs are not permitted. An issue closely related to the power shift is learning when to let go and when to intervene to make things happen. The cost of this struggle is very high at a time when competitive advantage derives from diverse input into solutions. I recommend how to proceed. in addition to consulting and facilitating. Consequences of alternative decisions are explored. I raise it. but when they have. I am clear that I can ask for decisions to be made and can influence those decisions. Then I let go and trust that the client will make the appropriate decision. A consultant’s ideas may add value by catalyzing others’ ideas as well as by providing final solutions. I said that my top priority was the best solution for them. When I asked why. I make recommendations. This misuse of power can keep people from generating the best solutions and create unnecessary suffering. letting the client organization see how it is using “old” or “new” power and its various hybrid forms. I can recommend a course of action without worrying about taking over their process. People need norms and guidelines to create change processes that do not damage or destroy. yet they always need to be willing to let go of their own ideas and be open to better ones. restated my recommendation. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 311 . for example. Consultants can advocate. I have honored their concerns while helping them arrive at and communicate decisions. This clarity frees me to make my interventions more powerful. I set limits and encourage clients to do so. In a few cases when clients have been reluctant to move forward on decisions. I have found that norms and guidelines are needed more when the environment is characterized by high levels of confusion and uncertainty. Rarely have executives tried to get me to make their decisions. Not all behavior is acceptable. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. explaining the reasons behind my advice. Establishing this norm not only helps them to build trust throughout the organization but also encourages them to adopt the norm themselves. It turned out that their habit was to fight doggedly for their own ideas simply because those ideas were theirs. sometimes strong ones. Assume. and reiterated that the decision is theirs.

not based on their general weaknesses. Each type of power has costs and benefits. not just for the problems. those costs and benefits shift in importance and value. 2nd Edition. For example. as culture changes over time. and be at peace with his or her own power and role before being able to help leaders. choose a role that fits. 3. Managing by strengths: Focusing on the strengths each employee uses.Leaders embracing the new power recognize that they are not just giving up the old power. Specific positive feedback: Developing employees to their highest performance potential by emphasizing their specific positive characteristics. A key indicator of the power shift is the acknowledgment that the function of supporting and sparking others’ ideas is as important as generating one’s own ideas. 2. SUMMARY The planet-wide shift from authoritarian to collaborative power is a complex issue facing nearly every change leader and consultant. the original benefit of authoritarian power—keeping people in line—is now regarded negatively. 312 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Combining advocacy consulting with letting go and trusting clients to make the right choice are additional keys to facilitating this shift. and 6. Positive listening: Listening for the good news. and I’ll share mine”. they are developing new forms of power that are better than the old forms because times have changed. This level of dialogue goes far beyond “You share your news. SKILLS Several skills are required to use collaborative power effectively: 1. managers. Connecting: Responding and providing feedback to others’ input so that they perceive you as connecting with them quickly. A consultant must be clear about his or her role. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Specific negative feedback: Providing negative feedback based on employees’ specific behaviors. 4. not just on weaknesses. and employees make this power shift in a healthy way. Enjoying diversity: Expressing genuine interest in others different from oneself. 5.

All of these concepts apply. and self-control. In other words. the shoulds have been acquired. Herman An individual may experience his or her world and communicate his or her experiences in different ways. good manners. however. The “is-istic” mode values spontaneity. prescribed set of rules may be provided by the organization. 2nd Edition. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 313 . to live in the is-istic mode. William Pfeiffer & John E. a formal. Shouldism. the manager combines these with a personal way of behaving that he or she has been developing since infancy into an elaborate system of what he or she thinks is acceptable behavior. particularly. the individual abstracts his or her contact with the environment and talks about his or her life instead of experiencing it here and now. Jones (Eds. the manager restricts his or her way of experiencing and reacting to the world. and another generation of “shouldist” managers results. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Subordinates model their behavior on the manager’s. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. in contrast to Shouldism’s deliberation. Shouldism. Gestalt theory contrasts three of these ways: Aboutism. Originally published in The 1974 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators by J. naturalness. The person becomes inhibited and does not allow himself or herself to be spontaneous.) However. often affects managers in special ways. and a stereotype of the executive. to organizational life as they do to most other areas of our lives. Shouldism is another way of experiencing life. Or the manager may have gathered a set of shoulds from a management training program. Usually. his or her observations (which may be incomplete or distorted) of senior managers. In the approach called Aboutism. is Isism. For example. (Such a program. in an attempt to conform to the image he or she holds of himself or herself. to be real. the individual tries to become as aware as possible of his or her own feelings (whatever they may be) and to act accordingly. In some companies. and Isism. often includes the rules of appropriate interpersonal behavior learned in human relations training sessions. the manager’s “shoulds” are accumulated from other sources as well—his or her sense of the traditions of good management. San Diego. in direct contrast to Shouldism.„‚ THE “SHOULDIST” MANAGER Stanley M. these rules may deal not only with situations at work but also with personal conduct off the job. In this approach. and freedom.). of course. A person who is “shoulding” continually measures his or her actions and thoughts against a particular mental set of standards. A person may have a set of ideas about proper managerial behavior—“how I ought to act as a manager”—gathered from a number of sources. incidentally. Yet another approach.

Even when a manager is actually convinced. that “you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. the manager bent on manipulation will discover. managerial training programs—especially those that are human relations oriented—try to prescribe certain managerial principles for effective and positive relationships with subordinates. but to make them think it was their idea. In fact. supervisors. the emphasis on deliberation and planning often has been carried to the point of insisting on moderated and predictable behavior. In stressing shouldist aims. Nevertheless. and this has been a largely successful approach to organizational needs. Of course. In their attempt to find a “better way” of dealing with people. that it is better to treat people according to Theory Y than Theory X.” However. is incongruous and it will be quickly perceived as such by the people with whom the manager deals. one of the more radical proposals anyone dealing with organizational theory could make today would be to increase spontaneity in organizations. of course. renounce manipulation as a goal. Their idea of human relations is “to get people to do what you want them to do. reject human relations theories altogether. and 314 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. a manager may attempt to behave in the prescribed way without having accepted or even recognized the values behind such behavior. Often—probably far too often—these programs set up a model of “the best manager” and try to shape managers to that model. you are not being “yourself” but are following an image of what you think you should be. after extensive human relations training. many theoreticians do not fully recognize an important fact: When an individual follows any set of principles that he or she has not integrated into his or her own character. and peers. If the manager finds that he or she is not rewarded with the improved performances or better relationships that were anticipated. This emphasis on control has had its costs: a decrease in spontaneity and excitement. Many managers interpret such theories as manipulative in purpose. Most behavioral science theoreticians would. that individual is being manipulated—even if it is only selfmanipulation. he or she may. out of a sense of failure. 2nd Edition. Many of the managers being trained may simply not relate to the principles implicit in the model except as theoretical information. as Lincoln said. self-manipulation may be the most subtle and the most limiting form of manipulation. the values of Isism have been neglected. This can have unfortunate results. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . of course. the emphasis in organizations has been on planning and control. an inability to enjoy.” A manager simply encounters the people he or she works with too frequently and in too many different situations for manipulative strategies to be truly effective. Indeed. The result. Often.For a number of decades. If you act in certain ways because you think it is “appropriate” or “effective”. however. but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. However. the complexity of present-day organizational requirements demands planned action.

sensing what is happening among subordinates. however. rather than adapt his or her character to fit the techniques. As indicated before. If a manager’s authentic. organizing work to be done. After all. at ease or under stress. 2nd Edition. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. with often contradictory characteristics. but also in terms of his or her entire character and outlook. then the manager ought to consider changing his or her specialty. individual style turns out not to be well-suited to a managerial role. The manager may be spending considerable amounts of energy trying to repress his or her natural behavior in favor of a more “effective” approach. This is true at every level of management. A manager is not wholly defined by what he or she says or how he or she acts in a given situation at a specific time to achieve a particular purpose. it is obvious that successful and well-liked managers may differ tremendously in their personal styles and approaches. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 315 . and so on. the manager must understand himself or herself and his or her own particular behavioral characteristics. This does not mean that a manager cannot be helped to learn various techniques and approaches for specific tasks such as running a meeting. self-manipulation may still be present.“changes” his or her behavior accordingly. so we react toward a manager not merely in terms of the way he or she exercises the managerial role. and even in the same company in the case of managers who succeed one another on the same job. Just as most of us appreciate a variety of people. The manager is also what he or she is seen to be by others in unplanned moments. Such a shift would probably be most satisfactory not only for those the manager deals with but also for the “shouldist” manager’s own self-esteem and personal satisfaction. First. The contrast between the Gestalt concepts of Shouldism and Isism is clear. In organizational life—and the manager’s role. under such circumstances the manager is unlikely to achieve successful results and may soon revert to his or her old behavior patterns. particularly—there might well be a renewed emphasis on the spontaneous values of Isism. Then the manager can learn to adapt helpful techniques to fit his or her own character. when his or her guard is down. in every industry.

Frustration builds regarding decision making. however. more on task-related behaviors and less on relationship behaviors.1 THE SITUATION Once a change in managers is announced. William Pfeiffer (Eds. Michael D.„‚ MANAGING SUPERVISORY TRANSITION Raymond J. Communication is reduced. 316 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Goodstein & J. the subordinates develop anxiety about what will happen to them and the organization. Trainers. Mitchell of Chico State College and Gerald D. routine practice in a department of the Federal government. reduction in openness of communication. the outgoing manager becomes more and more preoccupied with his or her new position and personal concerns. and a general lack of knowledge about the future of the organization and relationships. The outgoing manager focuses his or her attention more on what has to be done before the departure and less on future activities. others manage it in order to reduce the cost to the organization and to maintain stability. This article addresses a consultant-facilitated method of managing supervisory transition that has been in use for over four years and has become an effective. anxious about the shift of power. the outgoing manager may be beset with contradictory feelings about how well he or she wants the new manager to perform. They sense changes in their relationships and involvement with the outgoing manager as well as the creation of a vacuum because of the manager’s withdrawal.). rather. Throughout this period. Organizations deal with managerial transition in a variety of ways. and Consultants by Leonard D. This type of transition. It is. and concerned with their own Originally published in The 1983 Annual for Facilitators. These common problems as well as others lead to reduced performance. the subordinates tend to become increasingly cautious. 1 The basic idea for this approach is not the author’s. he or she becomes concerned about the future of the organization and the subordinates. Zugel Turnover in managerial or supervisory positions is a fact of life in our society. when unmanaged. when that day arrives. In fact. Many simply let it happen and accept the cost as a natural part of doing business. As the date of departure approaches. Pike of Signetics Corporation provided the major content. and decisions tend either to be made very quickly with limited consultation or to be delayed until the new manager assumes authority. organizational processes are affected. 2nd Edition. jockeying for position. role ambiguity. As the change of managers approaches. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the product of learnings derived from a number of consultants and academicians. and concerns about the future are heightened. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. San Diego. produces effects that are well known to those who have experienced the situation: a short-range orientation.

The interview data indicate that the total period of reduced performance is four to six months.positions and prerogatives.” as it is known. has been found to be highly effective in this department and in private enterprise as well. Implementation of the design is accomplished in three phases: prework. the processes of the organization adjust slowly. a surge in performance generally occurred as the outgoing manager sought to accomplish as much as possible before leaving. It may be used in almost any transitional situation. Figure 1 was designed to illustrate data derived from interviews with government personnel involved in unmanaged transitions. the department adapted and employed a meeting design that was originally developed and published by Mitchell (1976. unable to make decisions. The consultant-facilitated “transition meeting. Consequently. The new manager may be insufficiently informed about substantive matters and. with increasing proximity to the date of leaving. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 317 . decisions often are made slowly and painfully. he or she may not know the subordinates well enough to rely on them for information and advice. it was at this point that those interviewed were informed of the upcoming transition. efforts are geared toward learning what must be done to supervise the most immediate and pressing operations. As interpreted in this figure. The manager’s focus is short ranged. the subordinates look for clues as to what the new manager’s wants and idiosyncrasies might be. performance dropped. 2nd Edition. After the new manager has taken control. In some organizations this may be acceptable. the actual meeting. in most it probably is not. Also. To counter these problems and attempt to lessen the impact of managerial change. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. a small dip in performance was usually evident at approximately two and one-half months before the managerial change. the loss of continuity and waste of resources were determined to be unacceptable. Subsequently. Then. their anxiety is even greater. In the meantime. 1977). In the department of the Federal government from which the interview data were derived and in which managers habitually changed every eighteen to twenty-four months. One major addition is the inclusion of an evaluative measure for the meeting itself and one for the organization in which the meeting is conducted. therefore. and follow-up. As a result. and relationship behaviors are limited. The results of these developments are a reduction in communication and a continuance of the already-reduced organizational performance. although it is most profitable when the level of anxiety experienced by the incoming manager and/or the subordinates is high. If the new manager is unknown to them or if he or she is known to be different from the outgoing manager. and how he or she wants to operate. what he or she thinks is important. task-related behaviors assume primary importance. IMPLEMENTATION The basic design is essentially the same as that of the team-building meeting proposed by Reilly and Jones (1974).

without it. invited to express views toward it. the consultant should coach the incoming manager and the outgoing manager. the incoming manager is introduced to the concept. The consultant reviews the information contributed by the outgoing manager and the subordinates. The next step is to interview the subordinates for the purpose of introducing them to the meeting agenda. the consultant’s first step is to contact the outgoing manager when the departure is announced. If some of these issues are determined to be inappropriate to the meeting. The concept for the procedure is discussed. However. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the major issues that are likely to be brought up should be discussed. if he or she plans to attend. the consultant should administer assessment instruments (Figures 2 and 3) to evaluate the status of essential organizational processes and each individual’s understanding of the transition meeting. At this point. and eliciting their hopes and fears for the transition and the organization. In either case. and the outgoing manager is asked whether the meeting would be appropriate. he or she is questioned concerning hopes and fears for the transition and the organization. regarding their involvement in the meeting and the types of behavior that will make the 318 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. If the manager is unwilling or unable to attend. at the conclusion of the process. revises the basic agenda as necessary to meet the organization’s needs. Example of the Impact of Managerial Change on Organizational Performance Prework Generally. the incoming manager must be advised and means of dealing with the issues developed. Outcomes of the interviews should be a reduction of anxiety about the meeting. and an identification of the major issues that should be addressed during the meeting. a positive attitude toward the meeting. As a final step. advising them about what they will be asked to do. the incoming manager’s support is critical. Subsequently. It should be made clear that this decision should not be considered final until all subordinates have been interviewed and the needs of the organization have been identified. he or she is asked to introduce the idea to the incoming manager and to make suggestions regarding who should attend. These interviews can be conducted individually or as group-sensing sessions. and then asked to decide whether he or she supports the idea.Figure 1. the project cannot succeed. and presents the revised agenda to the incoming manager. 2nd Edition. If the manager supports the proposal and is willing to be involved in the meeting.

2 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. I feel that decisions are made in this organization at the level at which the most adequate information is available. 2nd Edition.S. and guarding against defensiveness. I believe that this organization has a plan for the achievement of its stated goals. I obtain all of the information that I need about what is happening in other sections of the organization. Organizational-Status Assessment For each of the statements below. CA.S. Dyer. For the incoming manager. encouraging openness. 7. The information that I receive through formal channels is generally accurate. 9. I believe that work priorities are established in accordance with the organization’s objectives. My coworkers understand the major priorities and goals of this organization. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 319 . Used with permission. for the outgoing manager. p. 11. 10. My supervisor and coworkers are aware of my concerns and expectations. circle the number that indicates the degree to which that statement is true for you. Team Building. Organizational-Status Assessment2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 The items in this instrument were adapted from the following sources: William G. I feel that decisions are made in this organization after obtaining information from those who actually do the jobs involved.. 1976. Fort Ord. 4. 2. and resisting the urges to pontificate or to make decisions under pressure. Scoring Key: 1-Not at all 2-Very little 3-Undecided 4-Somewhat 5-A great deal 1. beneficial behaviors include active listening. 54. Inc. 6. Army. Army Organizational Effectiveness Training Center. I have a clear understanding of the major priorities and goals of this organization. 5. U. 8. Figure 2. they normally include active listening. I recognize and understand the concerns and expectations of my coworkers. 3. U. General Organizational Questionnaire Manual. I recognize and understand the concerns and expectations of my supervisor. © 1977 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. encouraging openness.meeting most productive.

Army Organizational Effectiveness Training Center. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . p. Fort Ord. I believe that everyone could adjust to the new manager as quickly without a meeting like this. 3. 2nd Edition. Premeeting Assessment 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 The Meeting Objectives selected for the meeting must be appropriate for the group involved. and Plan how to do it. Determine what needs to be done to manage the transition. I understand the purpose of the transition meeting. Clarify concerns and expectations. circle the number that indicates the degree to which that statement is true for you.S. 2 I am confident that this meeting will help everyone to adjust to the new manager. 5. I believe that the others designated to attend will want to be involved. 8. © 1977 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. 3 320 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1976. General Organizational Questionnaire Manual. Figure 3. Scoring Key: 1-Not at all 2-Very little 3-Undecided 4-Somewhat 5-A great deal 1. The following ones are standard and are applicable to most transition meetings: s s s Get acquainted. During the meeting I will be willing to discuss openly my real concerns about the change of managers. I believe that during the meeting the others designated to attend will be willing to discuss openly their real concerns about the change. Inc. 9. Team Building. 54. Reach a clear and shared understanding of the major priorities and goals of the organization for the next six to nine months. 4.Premeeting Assessment For each of the statements below. U. Army.. U. CA. s s The items in this instrument were adapted from the following sources: William G. 6. Dyer.S. I believe that the meeting will help those who attend to achieve a better understanding of the new manager. Used with permission. I want to be involved in the meeting. 7. I believe that the meeting will help the new manager to achieve a better understanding of the organization.

Identification of Issues and Concerns If the data obtained from the prework are to be published. Subsequently. the incoming manager should follow with comments indicating support of the desired outcomes and norms. the group members are asked to develop lists of important issues and concerns regarding the transition and the organization. Introduction and Get-Acquainted Period Opening remarks are made either by the outgoing manager. My morale on the job is . Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 321 . The remarks are brief and address the manager’s hopes for the meeting as well as the norms to be followed. . . the incoming manager do the same. Normally. The consultant should use procedures that are acceptable to the participants but that lead to the establishment of openness and risk taking as acceptable norms. . My chief weakness as a person is . . can take any of several forms depending on the participants. The word that best describes me as a person is . and larger amounts of data. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. . then the key subordinates and. My chief strengths as a person are . After each sharing. the consultant reviews the meeting objectives and the agenda and then asks the group members to voice their expectations so that any disparity between goals can be dealt with before proceeding. The way I feel about this meeting is . . The next step. or by the incoming manager. a get-acquainted activity. greater risk taking. and their willingness to take risks. . . . The word that best describes me on the job is . This task can be completed individually or in small groups. how well they know one another. if he or she is present. A common procedure is to ask each person to introduce himself or herself by completing the following statements: s s s s s s s s I am . . . Each participant (or small-group representative) spends one or two minutes presenting his or her list (or the small group’s list) to the entire group. My chief responsibility is . the participants are allowed to ask questions for clarification only. If not. finally.The paragraphs that follow present an agenda that addresses these objectives. this segment of the meeting begins with publication of those data. . small-group work involves less risk and produces data in more manageable proportions. If the outgoing manager makes these remarks. . the outgoing manager introduces himself or herself first. . Individual work generally produces greater ownership of the data. . .

the outgoing manager should depart from the meeting. 2nd Edition. It is at this point that the incoming manager begins to take a more active and directive role in the meeting. the outgoing manager makes the first presentation and is followed by each subordinate and then the incoming manager. Goal Setting For this activity. the members are encouraged to speak about the issues that are important to them.After all data have been published. the consultant helps the participants to establish the priority of these issues. the new manager selects those items for which he or she would like actions to be planned. the new manager moves from group to group. These actions should be specific and should include timetables or milestones as well as clearly defined responsibilities. During planning. the consultant should facilitate carefully to ensure that the crucial issues are covered sufficiently. including the incoming manager. During the discussion. for his or her department or immediate area. providing guidance and information as appropriate. 322 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and discuss these issues and determine their priority. Action Planning Action planning usually is accomplished in small groups. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and that the desired norms are followed. primarily for the benefit of the incoming manager. The desired outcome of this activity is a list of actions in which everyone. and clarified. takes part in order to facilitate the transition. that the discussion is not dominated by anyone. an open discussion is focused on organizational goals and continues until the major ones have been identified adequately. the objectives of that program should be considered and may even serve as the basis for this discussion. After all goals have been presented and clarified. Transition Issues The participants are asked to review the data posted thus far and individually to determine which issues and concerns relate specifically to the transition. After the major issues have emerged. Finally. the consultant asks each member to develop a list of goals for the total organization. the members then publish. each list is presented to the total group and posted. Subsequently. only questions and requests for clarification are permitted. posted. In an open session or in small groups. If the organization has an established management-by-objectives (MBO) program. This process is most effective when the groups are allowed to choose their own assignments. with each group working on a different issue or set of issues. At the completion of the discussion. and for himself or herself. Again. Then the priority of these goals is established. clarify. that it focuses on problem definition.

and any coaching on future managerial behavior that seems appropriate. Experience shows that the meeting is most effective when conducted on or near the actual date of the managerial change. Also. At this point the new manager does not own any of the specific problems involved and has maximum flexibility. Approximately two weeks later. When considered in total. to state his or her expectations regarding the functions of the subordinates. commitments made by the manager. the manager and the consultant should review the objectives and the agenda to determine whether the meeting has been successful. six to eight weeks after the meeting. If the meeting cannot be conducted until later. CONSULTANT CONSIDERATIONS The following issues merit the consultant’s special consideration: 1. subsequently. the consultant and the manager discuss the implications of these data. and to explain his or her personal way of doing business. They also provide a beneficial side effect by focusing people’s attention on key processes during the transition period. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.Closure The final segment of the meeting focuses on the new manager. it becomes something other than a transition meeting. The discussion should include a review of action plans. the consultant should meet with the new manager to review the meeting and its outcomes. Both process and content should be discussed to ensure that the manager receives maximum benefit from the meeting. The subordinates recognize these factors and feel relatively free to discuss issues in the hope of having an early impact on the manager. the new manager may be more a part of the problem and may have established his or her own method of operation that people feel unwilling to address. then the meeting is adjourned by the manager. this is an excellent time for the new manager to address the ways in which his or her behavior and expectations differ from those of the outgoing manager. the subordinates are again asked to complete the instrument shown as Figure 2. The Timing of the Meeting. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 323 . After all resulting data have been compiled. This portion of the agenda is most useful when the manager allows the subordinates to ask questions and make comments. 2nd Edition. the assessment instruments that appear as Figures 2 and 4 should be administered to all the subordinates. who is given an opportunity to respond to what has happened during the meeting. Variations in responses to the OrganizationalStatus Assessment (Figure 2) can indicate the effect of the meeting on key processes. the instrument results provide not only a tool for measuring the utility of the meeting but also a basis for future actions to be taken by the manager. Follow-Up Within a day or two. If the session is conducted more than thirty days after the change. To conclude the session.

2. 3. 7. 10. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .S.Postmeeting Assessment For each of the following statements. 2nd Edition. something that I think should be changed is: Figure 4. Postmeeting Assessment4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 2. 8. I believe that a meeting of this type should be conducted for every change of managers. which allows for introductory activities. The Length and Design Components of the Meeting. Scoring Key: 1-Not at all 2-Very little 3-Undecided 4-Somewhat 5-A great deal 1. 4 324 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 4. These components are extremely flexible. I believe that I could have adjusted to the new manager as quickly without the meeting. 6.S. 9. The meeting helped me to adjust to the new manager. 5. The most obvious result of the meeting was: 12. I feel that the transition meeting accomplished its stated objectives. CA. I believe that the others who attended the meeting wanted to be involved. U. General Organizational Questionnaire Manual. Army Organizational Effectiveness Training Center.. I believe that the new manager gained a better understanding of the organization as a result of the meeting. I believe that the others who attended the meeting discussed their real concerns. Team Building. Used with permission. 54. During the meeting I discussed my real concerns about the change of managers. I believe that those who attended gained a better understanding of the new manager as a result of the meeting. The most valuable part of the meeting for me was: 13. U. and The items in this instrument were adapted from the following sources: William G. Army. circle the number that indicates the degree to which that statement is true for you. identification of issues and concerns. The minimum time for a productive meeting seems to be about four hours. The time I spent in the meeting was well spent. If the meeting were to be conducted in this organization again. p. © 1977 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Fort Ord. The least valuable part of the meeting for me was: 14. Dyer. Inc. Complete each item below: 11. 1976.

if the group has had previous experience with OD activities and the consultant is an effective facilitator. the outgoing manager should be active while the new manager listens. During the meeting. if the outgoing manager participates. or team-building activities. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 325 .” 4. clearer understanding of major issues and goals. the subordinates gain a better understanding of one another’s views and tend to operate more as a team after the meeting. Initially. the roles should be gradually reversed. which accommodates each of the suggested design components and has proven to be most productive for organizations that are unaccustomed to organization development (OD) activities. and observes. OUTCOMES The most common outcomes of a transition meeting are increased information flow. as a result of the discussions conducted. this potential problem can be lessened. the transference of power to the new manager must be considered in all activities. the meeting can be extended and more emphasis placed on action planning. In addition. However. For organizations with previous OD experience. the consultant may have to intervene to clarify the norms governing decision making.the new manager’s closing remarks. the situation can be handled in such a way that he or she provides unique insights and helps to ensure that key issues are discussed. by the end of the meeting. the optimal length for most organizations is one to one and one-half days. 2nd Edition. The new manager may feel significant pressure to make decisions about substantive issues. asks questions. During the meeting. Pressure on the New Manager. However. The resulting effect on end-result variables was evaluated in a study The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. he or she may find the meeting threatening and may be defensive when criticism of current operations arises. A common reaction on the part of the manager is that the meeting was well worth the effort because of the time saved in becoming established in the job. role clarification. This matter must be carefully considered when designing and conducting the meeting. the former manager should be “out” and the new manager fully “in. the subordinates may edit their comments so that the manager will leave feeling good. and a reduction of the amount of ambiguity experienced by the new manager and his or her subordinates. the new manager generally identifies key subordinates and becomes familiar with their personalities and methods of operation. All the participants should be similarly advised. If the outgoing manager does attend. If the relationship between the subordinates and their outgoing manager is even marginally good or better. experience indicates that the meeting can strongly affect intervening variables. In addition. The Outgoing Manager’s Level of Involvement. 3. As the meeting progresses. If the outgoing manager chooses to attend. The end result may be a limiting of subordinates’ openness and domination of the group by the outgoing manager. It is best to address this subject before the meeting and to advise him or her to defer any decisions except those that directly pertain to the transition. Also. Each manager’s role should change during the course of the meeting.

conducted within the United States Army between December, 1976 and March, 1979 (Stewart, 1980). The study concluded that the transition meeting had significant positive effects on statistical indicators of organizational performance.

Experience indicates that the transition meeting is useful to the consultant as well as to the client. The meeting is seen as a relatively low-risk venture by people who would normally be unwilling to try an OD approach to organizational change. As such, it gives them a chance to experiment with OD and to gain confidence in the technology and the consultant. The structure of the meeting and the evaluation procedure tie the consultant and the client together over a two- to three-month period; as a result, many consultants who have employed the procedure have established a significant number of ongoing OD operations in organizations that probably would not have asked for help otherwise. The author’s experience is that more than 50 percent of the organizations that have used the transition meeting have requested further OD involvement within six months of the meeting.

The transition meeting is a simple and direct approach that clearly meets the needs of client organizations that are contemplating managerial change. It has positive effects on both organizational climate and performance indicators. In addition to its usefulness to the consultant as a marketing tool, it is easy to conduct, requires little time, and presents only limited risk to the client or the consultant. For all of these reasons, the transition meeting is an OD intervention that can be useful to virtually any organization that seeks to control the potentially volatile circumstances arising from this type of change.

Dyer, W.G. (1977). Team building: Issues and alternatives. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Mitchell, M.D. (1976, May-June). The transition meeting: A technique when changing managers. Harvard Business Review, pp. 9-11. Mitchell, M.D. (1977). Dealing with personnel changes in a working team. In J. Adams, J. Hayes, & B. Hopson (Eds.), Transition. Montclair, NJ: Allanheld, Osmun. Reilly, A.J., & Jones, J.E. (1974). Team building. In J.W. Pfeiffer & J.E. Jones (Eds.), The 1974 annual handbook for group facilitators. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Stewart, W.L. (1980, Winter). Fort Carson evaluation of organizational effectiveness operations. In P.J. Rock (Ed.), OE Communique, pp.95-116. U.S. Army Organizational Effectiveness Training Center. (1976). General organizational questionnaire manual. Ford Ord, CA: U.S. Army.

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Marshall Sashkin Participative management recently has become popular as an element of the effort to revitalize U.S. business. In reviewing one new book on management-labor cooperation, Lohr (1983) said, “The next big fad in business management is on the horizon. It carries the fancy title of participative management” Lohr concluded, however, that the authors (Simmons & Mares, 1983) had in fact demonstrated that “employee participation has worked to raise productivity in many cases.” Participative management is not new. There is evidence to show that it was used by “advanced” Roman plantation owners about two thousand years ago (Sashkin, 1982). For the past fifty years or so, research evidence has steadily accumulated regarding the positive effects of participative management on performance, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Still, the level of application of participative management in U.S. organizations has been less than impressive. A major reason that American managers do not implement participative management as much as one might expect is simply because they do not know how to apply it in their organizations. In order to facilitate such application, the discussion that follows will address three major questions: 1. What is participative management? 2. What are the effects of participative management? 3. How does participative management work?

Participative management traditionally has been treated as a single, undifferentiated approach. However, if we are to talk sensibly about participative management, we must first understand the major participative approaches and how they are used. In general, participative management involves workers in the planning and control of their own work activities, but there are important differences in the various types of work planning and control in which subordinates can participate. At least four major varieties of participation can be identified: participation in setting goals; participation in making decisions; participation in solving problems; and participation in developing and implementing change.
Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. Goodstein (Eds.), San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Excerpted, by permission of the publisher, from A Manager’s Guide to Participative Management by Marshall Sashkin (AMA Management Briefing). © 1982 by AMA Membership Publications Division, American Management Associations, New York. All rights reserved.

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Participation in Setting Goals
In this form of participation, workers, as individuals or in groups, are involved with their supervisors in determining, to some degree, the goals that they will attempt to reach with respect to work performance and output. Research in both laboratory and organizational settings has conclusively demonstrated the power of participation in goal setting (Latham & Yukl, 1975; Locke, Shaw, Saari, & Latham, 1981). More than 90 percent of the research on goal setting confirms this.

Participation in Making Decisions
Participation of subordinates in decision making may range from consultation, through having some influence on the outcome, all the way to actually having responsibility for the decision. When workers are directly involved in generating the decision alternatives, participation in decision making may seem to overlap with participation in problem solving. Strictly speaking, decision making is limited to the examination and evaluation of alternatives that already have been developed. Research indicates that in a wide variety of situations, participation in decision making has positive benefits (Lowin, 1968).

Participation in Solving Problems
This type of participation is clearly more difficult than the previous two forms. It requires subordinates to analyze information and develop new ideas on the basis of that information. Research, however, suggests that obtaining positive benefits from participation in problem solving depends more on the training received by the supervisors and employees than on the innate mental abilities of the individuals (Maier, 1963).

Participation in Developing and Implementing Change
This form of participation is the most difficult and complex of all. It goes beyond participation in problem solving because it requires managers and employees to participate in generating, analyzing, and interpreting organizational data in order to develop specific, innovative solutions to organizational problems. This type of participation is regarded by most organization development practitioners as a critical aspect of successful OD (Huse, 1980).

Three Different Approaches
In addition to the four types of participation, there are also different ways to use participative approaches. Participative management can be applied (a) with respect to individual subordinates, (b) in the context of the superior-subordinate relationship, or (c) in a group context. Although the second method, superior-subordinate participation, is probably the most common, each of the three approaches seems feasible in different

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circumstances. It is likely that under some organizational conditions it would be appropriate for individuals to set their own goals, make their own decisions, solve their own problems, or develop and carry out changes relevant to their own work. On the other hand, such individual-centered participation clearly would not be appropriate when several workers depend a great deal on one another in the normal conduct of their work activities. For people who spend most of their time working together as a group, the group method of participation obviously makes the most sense. In order to have a basis for choosing which of the twelve combinations of participation types and approaches to use, a manager must understand the dynamics of participative management and what impacts the combinations can have on workers. A foundation for that understanding is provided by the many research studies on participative management.

The Hawthorne Studies
A series of research studies conducted from the mid-1920s through the mid-1930s at AT&T’s Western Electric Hawthorne plant has come to be recognized as a landmark in participative management research (Roethlisberger & Dickson, 1939). The results of these studies have been analyzed and reanalyzed, attacked and defended, for over forty years (Carey, 1967; Landesberger, 1958; Shepard, 1971). What was so controversial was not the research findings but their philosophical interpretations. Disguising their wrangling as scholarly debate and criticism, people argued about the worth, importance, and accuracy of the participative-management approach that developed as a result of these studies. During the studies, work conditions at the Hawthorne plant were analyzed to determine how human work capacities varied with changes in the physical environment such as lighting, heat, noise, ventilation, and so on. A special test area was set up. Workers and supervisors were selected to participate in the study, in which work behavior was measured as physical conditions varied. At first, the results seemed perfectly reasonable. When lighting levels were increased, for example, production also increased. A number of such correlations were found under different conditions. However, when the level of light was later decreased, production continued to increase until the workers were producing more than ever, under conditions equivalent to bright moonlight! At this point the engineers gave up, unable to explain what was happening. A new research team from Harvard was brought in, headed by Fritz Roethlisberger, who worked with the company’s personnel-department liaison, W.J. Dickson. The character of the experiments changed; instead of investigating physical work conditions, the researchers began to study social relationships on the job. The researchers attributed the performance and productivity improvements to the involvement and participation of the workers in the management of their own job activities. „‚ 329

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In later years, other scholars looked at the Hawthorne reports and asserted that the conclusions derived by the Hawthorne researchers were misleading. It became generally accepted that the results obtained by the Hawthorne researchers were due primarily to the special treatment given to the workers. That is, because the workers saw themselves as part of a special experiment and because they received special treatment, they worked especially hard to please the researchers, even when working conditions were quite poor. This situation—workers doing especially well because of special treatment—is commonly called “the Hawthorne effect.” Even if the primary factor in the Hawthorne studies was simply special attention, such special attention is now one small element in the participative management approach. Roethlisberger (1950) said:
People like to feel important and have their work recognized as important . . . . They like to work in an atmosphere of approval. They like to be praised rather than blamed . . . . They like to feel independent in their relations to their supervisors . . . . They like to be consulted about and participate in actions that will personally affect them.

A variety of factors other than special attention probably also had some impact in the Hawthorne case. For example, the supervisor had been selected because of his reputation as one of the best in the plant. The workers—who also had been carefully chosen—probably worked hard to satisfy him, even when working conditions were poor. Furthermore, the workers were given special privileges: they actually participated in work decisions that were meaningful to them and they formed a cohesive work team (Katz & Kahn, 1966). Finally, social experiments are subject to a pervasive effect known as the “self-fulfilling prophecy.” When one sets out to create a productive work group, one is more likely to succeed just because of having stated the goal and letting people know what is expected of them. For example, when teachers are told that certain students are “bright” and that certain others are “dull,” the so-called bright students (chosen at random) score better on objective tests. This is partly because the teachers pay more attention to the “bright” students and give them better instruction, but it is also because the teachers subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) communicate their expectations to the students. The “bright” students do better, then, because they know that they are expected to. The Hawthorne workers were specially selected and were subject to special attention, good supervision, participative-management practices, and self-fulfilling prophecy. All of these factors may have affected the results of the study, but over the years the Hawthorne studies have been most associated with the term “human relations,” not with “participative management.” The attempted applications were based essentially on the issue of special attention. It was hoped that if workers were treated with special care, they would perform at higher levels and be more productive. The findings concerning the benefits of worker participation and the use of a cohesive work group for such participation were all but ignored by U.S. managers, while the simplistic conclusion that performance and

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productivity could be dramatically improved if managers were to pay more special attention to their subordinates was widely accepted by those managers. These were not recommendations made by the Hawthorne researchers. One reason that supposedly sophisticated managers accepted these oversimplified conclusions is that they were presented as the result of scientific research. Americans of the 1940s and 1950s had experienced the effects on society of the automobile, air transportation, the telephone, radio, and television. Why, then, should they question the validity of social-science research—especially when research on management and organizations had proved to be useful in identifying the most efficient ways to approach specific tasks by means of time-and-motion analyses? Another factor that influenced managers was the tempting simplicity of the solution. All a manager had to do was show concern and attention to subordinates and treat them “properly,” and they would respond by increasing their productivity. The theory and practice sounded simple and straightforward; the manager did not need to learn new skills or make any substantial changes with respect to the way the job was organized or in terms of involving subordinates in decisions, goal setting, problem solving, or change. For a minimal investment of effort, the manager was promised, in effect, a “free lunch.”

The Backlash
Of course, managers soon discovered that the positive effects of special attention are shortlived. Despite the fact that participative management had not received a trial—let alone a fair trial—a substantial backlash developed against it. The situation is illustrated by two articles that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in the late 1950s. In one piece, titled “What Price Human Relations?” Malcolm McNair (1957) argued that managers should not have expected the simple human relations approach to have positive benefits on productivity, because these benefits would require a tremendous and unrealistic investment on the part of managers, amounting to abrogating much of their authority. McNair suggested that managers return to their traditional, controlling roles and forget the false promises of the human relations approach. Because most managers had never abandoned their original approach, McNair simply offered an easy rationalization for dropping the special-attention effort. Soon thereafter, Robert N. McMurry (1958), a well-known management consultant, was even more direct in arguing “The Case for Benevolent Autocracy.” Over the next decade, human relations became institutionalized in business management curricula and ignored in managerial practice. However, various dedicated researchers who had strong commitments to action applications in organizations continued to study the elements of participative management first identified in the Hawthorne studies. These studies eventually coalesced to form the basis of a theory of participative management.

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Participation in Setting Goals: Research Results
The vast proportion of studies on worker participation in goal setting have yielded positive results, demonstrating conclusively that goal setting has a positive outcome in terms of performance. This is true for individuals who set their own goals, for a supervisor and subordinate who set goals together, and for groups that set goals. Whichever method is used, goal setting seems to help people gain greater control over their work activities by identifying the specific aims of those activities. More than any other behavioral science innovation, goal setting has been proved to reap positive rewards in organizations (Locke et al., 1981).

Participation in Decision Making: Research Results
Conceptually, the distinction between problem solving and decision making is clear. Decision making involves selecting from among a range of reasonably well-defined alternatives. Problem solving, however, requires that the alternatives be generated first and a selection made. Thus, at least in theory, problem solving involves considerably more effort—and skill—than does decision making. A classic organizational experiment involving worker participation in decision making was conducted more than twenty-five years ago by two researchers at the University of Michigan, Nancy Morse and Everett Reimer (1956). The experiment was conducted in a large department in the home office of an insurance company and involved primarily clerical employees. About thirty-three supervisors and more than two hundred nonsupervisory employees were divided into four similar divisions of roughly equal size. In two of the divisions, a program was instituted for increasing decisionmaking responsibility at lower levels. Clerical workers were given responsibility for many small decisions that previously had been the prerogative of supervisors. For example, workers made decisions about when to take breaks, how to handle cases of tardiness, and how to deal with questions of work methods or work processes. Although many decisions were made by individuals, work groups were also involved. Questionnaire results several months later showed that workers clearly did perceive the nature of these changes. In the other two divisions, changes in decision-making practices also were instituted. These changes were the exact opposite of the changes made in the first two divisions. Employees became less involved in decision making than ever before; all decisions were made at the departmental level, and employees had no influence whatsoever over them. Again, there was little doubt that employees perceived these changes. The experiment ended after one year. Many of the results were just as expected. It was, for example, expected that workers in the participative divisions would increase in “self-actualization,” measured in terms of job challenge, opportunity for personal growth, and opportunity to try new ideas. It was expected that the scores of workers in the hierarchical-control departments would decrease on these measures, and that is exactly what happened. Similarly, supervisory relationships were much better at the end 332 ‚„
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of the year in the participative divisions but had dramatically worsened in the hierarchical-control divisions. When workers were asked how they felt about the two programs, the results again were as expected: workers in the participative program liked it very much and wanted it to continue, while workers in the hierarchical-control division were happy to see the program end. It was also expected that measures of job satisfaction would reflect the same differences. Although the job satisfaction of workers in the hierarchical-control divisions did drop substantially over the year of the experiment, the job satisfaction of workers in the participative-decision-making divisions did not increase much at all. The researchers were surprised, however, when they observed that productivity, measured in terms of the number of clerks needed to complete a given amount of work, had increased in all four divisions. This meant that although there were fewer clerks in each division, the same amount of work was being completed as had been done previously by more people. What seemed to have happened was that in the participative-decision-making divisions, the increase in productivity was real; some workers had been transferred to other divisions, while others who left the company had not been replaced. In the hierarchical-control divisions, however, the productivity was increased by assigning fewer workers to handle the same volume of work and simply ordering them to work harder. In fact, of twenty-three workers who left the company complaining of work pressures during the time of the experiment, nineteen were from the hierarchical-control divisions. Whether the productivity increases could have been maintained indefinitely in both the participative and hierarchical-control divisions must remain a matter of speculation. It does seem likely that if the workers had had more control over their work flow, productivity would have been still further enhanced in the participative-decision-making divisions. Equally clear is the fact that a powerful management was able to pressure workers into increasing their work output. In the years since this experiment, a great deal of research has suggested that the strategy used to increase productivity in the hierarchical-control division does have serious, long-run costs for the company as well as for employees (Franklin, 1975; Likert & Seashore, 1963). The Morse and Reimer study involved both individual and group participation in decision making. Later work by Jay Hall (1971) demonstrated the benefit of group participation in decision making, with respect to a decision task having a single correct solution. Hall showed that when the group followed a structured discussion process that prodded for full discussion and participation on the part of all group members, groups performed substantially better than without such a discussion procedure. Much earlier, Norman Maier (1963) demonstrated similar results in terms of improved decisions when a structured discussion procedure was used. Hall’s work strongly supports this type of participative management; however, it also sounds a warning: the effective use of the consensus decision-making process requires training and skill on the part of all group

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members. In fact, training is critical to the effective application of any of the four types of participative management discussed in this article.

Participation in Problem Solving: Research Results
Although individuals may be given problems to solve or may work on problems with their supervisors, most of the research on participation in problem solving involves groups. Much of the work on participative problem solving in groups is attributable to Norman R.F. Maier, who spent more than thirty years studying participative group problem solving and training managers in how to use this participative approach (Maier, 1950, 1967, 1970). Maier defined two critical questions that can be posed with respect to a problem situation to determine whether group participation in problem solving is desirable. The first question is “Will acceptance or rejection of the solution to the problem by any of the workers involved in carrying out the solution make a difference in how well it is carried out?” When worker acceptance is not an issue, there is no real need to involve workers participatively in solving the problem. When acceptance is an issue, it is important to provide workers with some means of influence or control over the solution that is chosen. This results in workers’ commitment to and acceptance of the solution. The second question is “Is the quality of the solution of concern to management?” When quality is of little concern but worker acceptance is important, a group problemsolving discussion is both appropriate and simple. If the group leader and members have some basic skills in group problem solving, the group should have no trouble reaching consensus. If quality is important but acceptance is not, it is appropriate for a manager to solve the problem alone, without group involvement. However, in their model of problem solving and decision making, Vroom and Yetton (1973) point out that in such cases a manager may sometimes wish to involve subordinates participatively on a oneto-one basis. This kind of employee participation can be appropriate, according to Vroom and Yetton, if the manager needs additional information in order to develop a good solution. Finally, when both worker acceptance and the quality of the solution are important, Maier suggests that participative group problem solving is appropriate though difficult. In such cases, the leader must facilitate and integrate the discussion while taking into account both the needs of the employees and the requirements of management. Although leading such discussions is not easy and does require skill, Maier and his associates have demonstrated repeatedly and conclusively that managers can learn such skills. Skill in two activities is crucial: (a) posing the problem and (b) encouraging participants to share information (Maier & Sashkin, 1971). Participation in decision making or goal setting provides workers with increased control over situations and over their own work activities, which in turn can lead to the workers’ acceptance of and commitment to a course of action. Participation in problem solving can have the same effects, but often has some additional benefits. First, workers involved in participative problem solving are engaging in a new aspect of work—an 334 ‚„

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aspect that adds substantial meaning to the work itself. Second, problem solving is, of necessity, a complete task activity, involving gathering information, interpreting that information, developing alternatives, weighing and selecting a specific solution from among the alternatives, and developing implementation strategies. This form of participation not only adds meaning to the work but also represents a complete cycle of work activities in which the employees are involved from the beginning to final completion. In this manner, participation in problem solving can have a positive impact on worker satisfaction, because one basis for satisfaction is the successful completion of meaningful tasks. Thus, participation in problem solving goes beyond the simpler forms discussed earlier.

Participation in Change: Research Results
The crucial importance of employee participation in planning and carrying out organizational changes is so widely recognized by behavioral scientists that it is hard to comprehend why managers so often attempt to institute such changes unilaterally, with little or no employee participation. This state of affairs is particularly puzzling when one considers the fact that most managers are well aware of the phenomenon of workers’ resistance to change. In fact, examination of research studies conducted in the 1940s on participation in change reveals that one important reason for attempting to involve workers in developing change was to manipulate them into accepting changes that management wanted. This kind of situation is evident in Kurt Lewin’s (1958) studies on change in housewives’ food-preparation habits during World War II, when the government was trying to encourage the use of foods traditionally considered undesirable, such as sweetbreads. Through group discussion, housewives were manipulated into “solving” the problem of unavailable meats by agreeing to change their food buying and preparation habits to make use of available but less desirable food products. Similarly, in a classic industrial study, the early phases of which were conducted under Lewin’s supervision, his colleagues Lester Coch and John R.P French (1948) successfully manipulated workers into identifying and agreeing to the exact changes that management had wanted prior to the involvement of the workers. Perhaps the greatest value of these early studies was to demonstrate the tremendous power of group participation for making change work. The firm that Coch and French worked for continued and expanded participative management until, by the 1960s, it was absolutely real, not merely a manipulative sham. By that time, all forms of participative management had spread throughout the organization. The work of Floyd Mann at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research probably serves as a better illustration of participation in change. In his capacity as consultant, Mann conducted a survey at Detroit Edison in 1948. At that point, the survey was not part of a formal experiment. However, positive experiences with the methods he devised for reporting data back to both management and employees laid the groundwork for more extensive research. „‚ 335

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Managers and their immediate subordinates were provided with summaries of their own survey data. extensive. revealed extensive and significant changes in a positive direction for the experimental feedback departments. supervisors held more meetings. These data were the basis for group discussions in which problems were identified and changes recommended. the greater the positive change (Mann. (Managerial changes in the two remaining departments made it impossible to draw any conclusions. The extreme importance of this kind of background training has been demonstrated in a wide variety of research studies by Mann’s colleagues at the University of Michigan (Bowers 336 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Mann reported the greatest change in those departments in which the members were all extensively involved in the survey-feedback experiment. followed by similar reports to successively lower-level groups of managers. The formal experiment was based on the first survey as well as two subsequent surveys conducted in 1950 and 1952. Finally.The 1948 survey was conducted throughout the entire organization and included all employees. as compared with the departments in which no survey feedback was carried out. Mann wanted to report the results of this survey in a way that would best lead to acceptance by the employees. and these meetings were judged to be more effective than meetings in the other two departments. Although Mann’s study vividly demonstrated the strong positive results of participation in change. Eventually. Data comparing the results with those of the 1948 survey were provided to the departments. This allowed the researchers to establish a “control group”—a yardstick to determine whether changes were the result of feedback efforts or normal evolution over a period of time. their careers.) A third survey. conducted in the six departments in 1952. training efforts for managers and workers in the organization in the techniques of small-group. their supervisors. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . participative. 1957). 2nd Edition. employees in the survey-feedback departments reported that their supervisors got along better with department members than did the supervisors in departments in which no action was taken. and their work groups’ effectiveness. These meetings focused on supervisors and their immediate subordinate groups and were carried out in much the same manner as the organizational feedback done in 1948.” These conferences began with a report to the president and top executives of the company. Furthermore. The greater the degree of involvement. these were dropped from consideration. problem solving. Mann’s approach was to present the results by means of “an interlocking chain of conferences. The 1950 effort surveyed more than eight hundred employees in eight accounting departments. In four departments. Nothing was done in two other departments. In the experimental survey-feedback departments. The survey-feedback program was associated with large improvements in employees’ attitudes about their work. the researchers helped to conduct a series of feedback meetings. it must be noted that Mann’s results were attained partly because of prior. the employees would use the data gained from the results to solve problems and make changes. all the way down to supervisors and first-line workers.

Although goal setting does not seem to have been involved. Second. Similarly. This is not simply coincidence. effective use of participation in change seems to require understanding and mastery of participation in problem solving. By now it should be clear that the four approaches to participative management are not independent of one another. This was the primary discovery of the research studies conducted by Kurt Lewin (1947) and his group. Thus. and goal setting. or informal contacts between managers. Rather. the need for coordination is greater. 1977). 1977. This is especially true for behaviors that are overt and easily observed and „‚ 337 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. productive use of participation in problem solving is based on the skills and knowledge needed to apply participation in decision making and goal setting. but it is impossible to coordinate effectively simply by using the “standard” methods—written reports. As the project proceeded. decision making. Such interdependencies become especially important in dealing with problems and with the planning and implementation of change. group methods provide a tool for dealing with the complexity of the problems and issues involved in creating organizational change. the chain of command. A study by Bragg and Andrews (1973) provides a good example of this. and decreased absenteeism and turnover. 2nd Edition. Hausser. solutions. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . especially those that rely on the applications of advanced technologies. people in groups are more dependent on one another than ever before. In organizations today. the effective coordination required to solve complex problems and to successfully plan and carry out changes can be accomplished only through direct feedback among the parties involved. & Spencer. Thirty-two hospital laundry workers were involved in planning and carrying out changes. groups have the potential to develop more good ideas than the same number of individuals working independently.” That is.& Franklin. there are several good reasons why groups are most commonly used to implement participation in problem solving and change. participation in problem solving and decision making were clearly part of the participation in change approach and led to increased productivity. The sociologist James Thompson (1967) has suggested that in these cases there is a need for coordination by “mutual adjustment. The simplest way to get ideas from a group is through the widely known “brainstorming” procedure. The Special Importance of Groups The two more complex types of participative management—participation in change and participation in problem solving—are consistently associated with group methods of operation. Pecorella. the laundry workers also participated in decision making. Lewin discovered the tremendous effect that group norms—shared beliefs about how people ought to behave—actually have on the behavior of individual group members. First. Wissler. 1977. & Wissler. each progressively more complex approach seems to depend on the concepts and skills developed in the simpler approaches. Under such circumstances. improved attitudes. The third reason is that the involvement of individuals in face-to-face group discussions develops social support for decisions. Franklin. or changes.

that behavioral scientists began to explore seriously the implications of such powerlessness. For many workers. the changes in work were not very desirable. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Participation in group tasks such as problem solving or developing changes may fulfill these needs. Workers lost most of the control they previously had over their work activities. in their early study on participation in change. Effectively implemented participative management can reverse these changes and can result in improved performance. how we interpret what we see. the use of groups to implement participation in problem solving and change will greatly strengthen the results and impact of such participation and may even be a requirement for the effective use of participative methods for problem solving and change. is the common isolation of workers while doing their work. the change effects were strongest. and worker satisfaction. a basic human need for autonomy and control of one’s own behavior emerges as part of the natural process of development. especially those at low levels. The Harvard psychologist David McClelland (1975). Coch and French observed. A factor that bears careful consideration. and how we behave in response to these perceptions and interpretations. 2nd Edition. Mann also found that when more workers were more involved in the survey-feedback discussions. Argyris showed how modern organizations actively frustrate this need. It was not until the 1950s. 1973). In any case. and when more discussions were held. Powerlessness Early sociologists observed how the development of the industrial organization contributed to the creation of a new class of relatively powerless workers. they play a part in determining what we see. there is little opportunity to obtain the social satisfaction that can come through doing a job with other people. Work became fragmented into tiny. whose work 338 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Most of us are so used to spending a large portion of our time with other people and take social interaction so much for granted that we tend to forget what social creatures we really are. argued— and over the next decade successfully demonstrated—that as people mature. HOW DOES PARTICIPATIVE MANAGEMENT WORK? The Industrial Revolution of the Nineteenth Century changed our work lives as well as our private lives. In summary. productivity. Chris Argyris (1957. Each of these three major changes in the nature of work acts in direct opposition to a basic human work need. meaningless. group-based norms are extremely important. in particular.norms that are openly and explicitly stated and recognized by all group members. that resistance to change was more easily overcome when all workers were involved in the discussion than when only representatives of the workers were allowed to take part. Unfortunately. and workers became socially isolated rather than members of a work unit. Perhaps this factor of involvement is so important for effecting change simply because of the basic human need for social interaction. then. however. repetitive bits.

normal day-to-day work activities may be just as meaningless as ever. tasks. then. In the thirty years since Mann’s research study. 2nd Edition. was an absolute guarantee of meaninglessness. It is not surprising. the Industrial Revolution had had its major impact on society. Earlier. and activities (Zeigarnik. which is only possible through the accomplishment of complete. 1967). it had been observed how decisions and problems became the province of the supervisor. One approach to this persistent problem is to make the work itself more meaningful. The fractionation of jobs into minute sets of activities that were repeated over and over. The fact that meaningless work is psychologically distressing hardly needs proof. Literally hundreds of research studies by Maier and his associates clearly demonstrate that workers involved participatively in group problem solving find this activity meaningful and interesting and become more satisfied with the work situation. Furthermore. McClelland’s (1976) research on motivation in organizations and society has demonstrated the widespread importance of the need for achievement. the efforts of time-and-motion-study engineers such as Frank Gilbreth (1911) made the loss of meaning through less involvement in decisions and problems appear to be a relatively minor issue. that the problem of meaningless work is alleviated when workers engage participatively in solving problems and creating changes. either by “enriching” the job through methods such as those pioneered by Frederick „‚ 339 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. “whole” tasks. leaving the worker powerless and contributing to feelings of meaninglessness. partly through application of the scientific-management approach developed by Frederick W. However. Durkheim noted the increasing fractionation of work itself. However. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer .reflects the same conclusions. such work is not merely unpleasant but is overtly harmful. 1927). When Durkheim worked and wrote. carried to the ultimate. identified the need for power as one of the most significant motivational factors in organizations. Meaninglessness One of the most profound treatments of the meaninglessness of work as a consequence of industrialization is found in the writings of Emile Durkheim (1893/1947). a French sociologist whose major work was done at the turn of the century. The very structure of the human brain seems to press individuals to achieve a sense of completion or closure with respect to perceptions. The participative-management approaches of goal setting and decision making increase workers’ autonomy and sense of control over their jobs. Taylor (1911). Mann reached the same conclusions in his experiments on the use of group participation in creating changes. Although participation in goal setting and decision making will not magically and totally remedy workers’ feelings of powerlessness—which have been fostered by organizations over the past hundred years—evidence indicates that participative-management approaches involving goal setting and decision making do increase workers’ feelings of power and control (Tannenbaum. unendingly. similar findings have been obtained over and over again.

Durkheim suggested that it was the combination of social isolation and meaningless work that led to such feelings of alienation as to provoke suicide. 1967) and his associates. 2nd Edition. Mayo’s primary focus was on the work group. Mayo’s philosophy was. unless the work itself is redesigned so as to provide more workers with the opportunity to accomplish a complete task. Another approach. In fact. . workers could be better integrated into the social mainstream. or unless management practices are extensively refocused to emphasize worker participation. Furthermore. these effects are likely to be ameliorative rather than real cures. is to maximize the use of participative methods so that participation—in all four forms—is to the greatest extent possible the central focus of work activities. studies of motivation by McClelland (1955) identified the need for affiliation. developed by Rensis Likert (1961. No social system can be considered satisfactory which deprives the great majority of mankind of every vestige of autonomy. At the time he helped to plan and interpret the Hawthorne studies. Indeed. a multi-faceted man perhaps best thought of as a social philosopher. In 1919 Mayo wrote: As a system Taylorism effects much in the way of economy of labor. it was Elton Mayo. the relief will be only temporary. This is why the Hawthorne studies focus so much on work-group interactions and the development of cohesive work teams. Likert specifically labels the system of management and organization that he advocates as “participative. .Herzberg (1968) or by redesigning the job so that it contains the elements identified by Hackman and Oldham (1980) as characteristic of work that has meaning and over which workers can exercise control. this brings us full circle. That is. Mayo’s error was his 340 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The previous discussion of the special importance of groups indicates that Mayo was on the right track. . Obviously. its chief defect is that workmen are not asked to collaborate in effecting such economies .” Although research has clearly demonstrated the positive effects of participation in problem solving and change in terms of making work more meaningful. whose work was most directed toward resolving the social isolation of workers. shaped as a response to Taylor. Isolation Various sociologists have observed and commented on the social isolation of workers imposed by modern industrial organizations. Mayo was particularly opposed to the scientific management advocated by Frederick Taylor. It can therefore be argued that worker isolation is best remedied through participative management using group methods. However. In fact. In a sense. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Mayo felt that through reduced isolation. making for a less “pathological” society and one with fewer social problems. in part. the negative effects of meaningless work will be reduced temporarily but. Mayo was well aware of the factors of powerlessness and meaninglessness. for it was Mayo who was the primary off-site advisor at Harvard to the Hawthorne researchers.

In the Hawthorne studies. It was expected that within these groups the workers would establish their own patterns of coordination. The unrealistic laissez-faire managerial approach that seems to have been idealized by Mayo and his associates is probably one reason why managers rejected the group-participation recommendations of the Hawthorne studies. Pelz and Andrews found that when both security and challenge were present. These benefits. in the bank-wiring room. provide workers with an increased amount of control or autonomy. it is quite clear that in other experiments conducted at the Hawthorne plant the reverse was true. HOW PARTICIPATION WORKS: A MODEL The model shown in Figure 1 summarizes how participation works. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Other Effects of Participative Management In their large-scale study of how management affects the performance of scientists and engineers in organizations. however.neglect of the factor of management. scientific performance in terms of innovation and the successful accomplishment of research tasks was heightened. the direct effects of participation— increased control and autonomy and meaningful work—may have some additional indirect effects for scientific workers—increased security and challenge—which can lead to increased scientific performance. the standard applied by the workers constituted restriction of production. Thus. where men wired the terminals on which telephone-switchboard circuits were installed. opposed to management and to increased productivity. leading to greater productivity and at the same time eliminating worker isolation. Workers did indeed form cohesive groups with informal patterns of coordination and strong norms. However. the prescription was simply to allow small groups of workers maximum freedom in controlling their own work. Such acceptance and commitment have one ultimate outcome: increased performance and „‚ 341 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 2nd Edition. participation in goal setting and participation in decision making. When scientists and engineers were involved in decision making and in problem solving. management would gain the support and cooperation of workers. the workers had established clear norms as to what constituted a fair day’s work. The two simpler types of participation. all at the same time. in turn. Then. in some cases. but also provided high levels of challenge. by recognizing and supporting such informal organization. Although one can argue that this is exactly what happened in some of the Hawthorne experiments. They found that the increased autonomy that was given to scientists and engineers provided them with a sense of security. Donald Pelz and Frank Andrews (1978) identified some additional effects of the participative methods discussed here. these norms were. For example. led to acceptance and commitment with respect to goals and decisions. They also found that participation in working on difficult problems not only provided quite meaningful tasks. From the viewpoint of managers. they experienced strong feelings of autonomy (which produced feelings of security) and perceived their work assignments as being difficult and highly meaningful (which led to feelings of challenge).

also result in increased degrees of control and autonomy for workers and.” typical patterns of leadership. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Organizational factors such as the nature of the technology. productivity. A Model of How Participative Management Works CONCLUSION After fifty years of formal research—and thousands of years of experience—there is no doubt that participative management is effective in terms of performance.productivity. 2nd Edition. These types of participation. and significant changes may be required for participative management to succeed. The simple chains of events shown in Figure 1 reflect research evidence. Being given meaningful tasks may also result in feelings of challenge for scientific workers. have the primary effect of providing meaningful “whole” tasks. Heightened autonomy also leads to increased feelings of security for scientific workers. which then have a long-range impact on performance and productivity. and implementation. the various effects shown in Figure 1 can occur only if effective management. however. promote the same chain of indirect effects as do the two simpler forms of participation. this was the greatest failing of the Hawthorne research. that effective outcomes depend on careful design. It is also clear. however. The two more complex types of participation. Having meaningful tasks that can provide a sense of accomplishment and completion leads to feelings of satisfaction. however. For one thing. Thus. thereby providing the second of the two crucial conditions necessary for high scientific performance. and employee satisfaction. Figure 1. to assume that such cause-and-effect relationships are automatic or guaranteed. planning. is provided. Kanter (1982) has noted that “failures” of 342 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. participation in problem solving and participation in planning and carrying out changes. the social-psychological “climate. one of the two conditions needed for effective scientific performance. It would be foolish. the effects of the two simpler types of participation are reinforced when the more complex forms are also used. therefore. and the design of jobs must be taken into account. As has been discussed. as well as participation.

1982). that to fail to use participative management is morally reprehensible. see Locke. 1980. More and more research evidence shows that when the three basic human work needs are not met. and overall poor physical health—findings confirmed in other research studies (Margolis. when properly applied. Because of the proven harm to employees of nonparticipative The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 63). should managers bother with participative management? One answer is that doing so is more efficient. 1971). 1974. Quinn and Shepard (1974) found that nonparticipation was correlated with depression. Jenkins. Sales & House. the result is physical (as well as psychological) damage to workers (Sashkin. escapist drinking. Singer. and higher output (French & Caplan. more positive attitudes toward work. 1975. Another reason is based on ethical considerations. 1972). Palmore and Jeffers (1971) found that the best predictor of longevity was job satisfaction. 2nd Edition. O’Hanlon. Various studies have demonstrated that repetitive. 1975). Why. in the long run. better work relations. In a fifteen-year longitudinal study. meaningless work. is as—or more—effective in the short run than nonparticipative approaches. then. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 343 . The Ethical Choice On the basis of these and other research findings. 1979). work that cannot be controlled by the worker.participative management are often due to the same error that the Hawthorne researchers made: too much emphasis on participation and too little on management. They show that high participation was related to increased feelings of responsibility. 1971. Some recent reviews of research on participative management are basically flawed by the authors’ attempts to determine just how effective participative management is in comparison with other approaches (e. participative management “is a complex phenomenon beyond proof or disproof” (p. as well as more productive. 1978). 1971. Kroes. at least in the short run. We know that participative management. in the long run. and that it was a better predictor than physicians’ judgments of workers’ overall physical health! Perhaps most interesting are the results from several studies that directly examined the effects of worker nonparticipation.g. 1983). Johansson.. The Question of Choice In one sense. Although organizational factors are changing such that participative management is more likely to succeed (Sashkin. it is still possible to design and manage nonparticipative organizations with good results in terms of productivity and profit. & Quinn. It is also clear that. and work that is performed in social isolation is associated with physiological measures related to coronary heart disease (Cox. the application of participative management is a matter of choice or preference. As Lowin (1968) long ago noted. properly applied. we can assert that participative management is an ethical imperative. participative management is. Other researchers have shown that job dissatisfaction is related to physical illness (Jenkins. inevitably more effective than nonparticipative approaches because it develops rather than damages people. or Locke & Schweiger. 1982.

(1977). MA: Addison-Wesley. Argyris. (1967). Trans.) Franklin. & Andrews. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. 18. 422-433. Herzberg. Kanter. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Johansson. A decade ago. J. San Diego.P.L. (1971). (1972).. D. (Original work published 1893. T. (1977). Human Relations. L. 2nd Edition.R. Personality and organization. and how to make it work. J. The Hawthorne studies: A radical criticism. G. it is a revolution whose time has come. 11(1).. Organization development and change. San Diego.L. I.R. G. Marrow (Ed. (1980). Sweden: National Board of Occupational Safety and Health. (1957). (1973). Hackman. 51-54ff. E. R.L. Jr..L. Carey. 1983).).R. Administrative Science Quarterly. Stockholm. Administrative Science Quarterly.F. & Franklin. Relations among four social-psychological aspects of organizations.L. 1. England: John Wiley. (1947). decisions. 46(1). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 32. Bowers. Jenkins. & Spencer. 5-27. Reading. 53-62. New York: Harper & Row. A. participative management was labeled by Preston and Post (1974) as the “third managerial revolution. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Pecorella.M. Decisions. P. J. The failure of success. Overcoming resistance to change. Chichester.R. Bragg. 403-416. 284. One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review.). REFERENCES Argyris. D. Psychophysiological stress reactions in the sawmill: A pilot study. J.. Gilbreth. Repetitive work. Motion study. New England Journal of Medicine.B.. 727-735. Franklin. In C.L. J. Wissler. F. (1911).D. (1975). Psychology Today.J. Survey-guided development II: A manual for consultants. & Wissler.A. (1973). J. (C. E. C. G.approaches and in light of the clear advantages of participative management in “bottomline” financial terms (as well as in terms of human satisfaction). Simpson. Paul. Hall. how it works. 512-533. Coch. (1948). Dilemmas of managing participation. Ager (Ed. 5. Current concerns in occupational stress. In A.” Now that we know that participative management works. The division of labor in society. decisions. J.. Hausser. St. (1968). 9. Survey-guided development III: A manual for concepts training. 141-167. In B. (1980). (1982).. J. American Sociological Review. 307-317. & Caplan.C. I argue that failure to use participative management is morally wrong (Sashkin. MN: West. Jr. Payne (Eds. (1977).. New York: AMACOM. Work redesign. Psychologic and social precursors of coronary disease (II). C. 344 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Durkheim. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. A.. Organization stress and individual strain. French. F. (1980).). A..D. Ergonomics in sawmills and woodworking industries. Participative decision making: An experimental study in a hospital. 20. Personality and organization theory revisited.L. P. New York: Free Press. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. San Diego. Survey-guided development I: Data-based organizational change. (1975).J. Huse. C. & French. Cox.. & Oldham.). Cooper and R. (1971). Organizational Dynamics. R.

McNair.Katz.M. Margolis. Human Relations. Melbourne. (1955). Maier. Academy of Management Journal. Locke. (1970).A. Morse. 96-108. (1966). M. Participative decision making: A model. (Eds. 15-39. Lohr. E. Latham. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.C. Maier. Maccoby. F. (1974). Employee motivation: A discussion. In B. & Yukl. (1961). McMurry. Lowin.). Likert. (1979). M. Saari. 120-129. Landesberger.. Locke. B. Journal of Occupational Medicine. N. Harvard Business Review. 3. K. N. 155-174. E. D.M. N. 35(2). D.R. Democracy and freedom: An essay in social logic.E. (1975). 52. (1967). A. Rinehart and Winston. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance. Maier. CA: Brooks/Cole. (1958). & Reimer. & Latham. Shaw. R.F. Likert.).F. Frontiers in group dynamics. 35-44. pp. 90. 3.P. Monterey. (1919). (1975).C. Problem solving and creativity in individuals and groups.H. R. The case for benevolent autocracy. Specific leadership behaviors that promote problem solving. 18. The social psychology of organizations.E. R. (1958).A.). R. 11(2).. Problem-solving discussions and conferences. R. Likert. Journal of Contemporary Business. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. New York: Holt. W. & Schweiger.. A review of research on the application of goal setting in organizations. (1958). 82-90. Newcomb.R.P.C.N. (1947). (1971). Group decision and social change. & Kahn. McClelland. S. Mann. 41(6). (1981).R.F. (1963).. New York: Irvington. 239-249. Ithaca. The experimental change of a major organizational variable.A. Research in industrial human relations. 125-152.). Publication Number 17. New social contracts.A. E. Goal setting and task performance: 1969-1980. 659-671. In E.P. NY: Cornell University Press. March 6). Australia: Macmillan. G. (1963). (1957). and prescriptions for research. What price human relations? Harvard Business Review. (1956). Human Relations. 16.C. N. The human organization. 12. Greenwich. G. Locke. (1950). New York: McGraw-Hill. Lewin. S.F. Personnel Psychology.L. N.. (1968). Cummings (Eds. Mayo. 36(1). D. & Seashore. Assets and liabilities in group problem solving: The need for an integrative function. & Sashkin. Staw & L. L. & E.. The New York Times Book Review. New York: Irvington. K.. Job stress: An unlisted occupational hazard. Maier..L. Readings in social psychology (3rd ed. In C. Making cost control work. D. K. Participation in decision making: One more look. (1957). Lewin. Research on organizational behavior (Vol. 5-42. H. Kroes.M. 68-106. 2nd Edition.M.. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1. 29. Psychological Bulletin. (1982).. New patterns of management.L. N.N. Hawthorne revisited. 824-845. McClelland.. E. G. 71-81. R. Maier. Arensberg et al. McClelland.J. Power: The inner experience.F. 24. & Quinn. 74. New York: McGraw-Hill. Studying and creating change: A means to understanding social organization. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 345 .R. The achieving society. l). Hartley (Eds. Studies in motivation. Harvard Business Review. New York: McGraw-Hill.C. T.M.P. D.) New York: Harper & Row. CT: JAI Press.R. E. The quality of group decisions as influenced by the discussion leader. (1976). Psychological Review. (1967). literature critique. (Industrial Relations Research Associates.L. (1983. New York: John Wiley.

Participative management as an ethical imperative. Roethlisberger. 23. Tannenbaum. (1974). New York: McGraw-Hill. Cambridge. W. New York: Alfred A. (1971). Zeigarnik. Germany.F.M. The human equation in employee productivity. 2nd Edition. (1983).H. Shepard.J. S. Pittsburgh. J. 36(6B).W. 522. MI: The University of Michigan. L.C. ed. Scientists in organizations (rev. Prediction of life span. J. A manager’s guide to participative management. 23-31. Simmons.D.M. W. (1950). (1967). 476486. (1971). & House. & Andrews. New York: American Management Association. R. Boston. (1975). Ann Arbor. MA: Harvard University Press. (1927). Academy of Management Journal. 346 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Sashkin. (1911). Performance and physiological reactions to monotony in simulated industrial inspection. Thompson. A. Sashkin.. Colorado State University. (1978).. Academy of Management Journal. F.N. & Dickson. (1973). F. (Doctoral dissertation. 1-85. Pelz. (Eds.S. On Alex Carey’s radical criticism of the Hawthorne studies. & Post.. J.J.. Preston. (1982). (1971). Sales. J. V.. B.). L. 9. New York: Harper’s. Palmore.. Munich. August). E. F. Institute for Social Research.O’Hanlon.). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Journal of Chronic Diseases. Scientific management.W. J. & Shepard. PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. M.). Knopf. Speech presented to the Personnel Group of the National Retail Dry Goods Association. Control in organizations.P. Ann Arbor. Vroom. 1975). New York: McGraw-Hill. MA: Heath-Lexington. Taylor.. The 1972-73 quality of employment survey. 17. P. Job dissatisfaction as a possible risk factor in coronary heart disease.M.] Psychologische Forschung. (1939). 3109B. Singer. J. Survey Research Center. Paper presented at the Nineteenth International Congress of Applied Psychology.B. & Mares. Working together. (1974). Leadership and decision making. [The recollection of completed and uncompleted tasks. J. Dissertation Abstracts International. (1967). (1984. D. & Yetton. & Jeffers. Spring). (Ed. (1978. Quinn. pp. The third managerial revolution. Organizations in action. Management and the worker.J.E. Roethlisberger. F.. M. Job strain as a function of job and life stresses. MI: The University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research.E. F. Organizational Dynamics. 14. 861-873.

Old practices no longer satisfy today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. tasks. and leadership. published by Miles River Press. overall.” Applied to problems that have been developing for decades. William Pfeiffer & Leonard D. Given the painful symptoms in American organizations. THE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF ORGANIZATIONS There are numerous traditional models of organizations and. American culture usually does not. Adams. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. and resources (see Figure 1). Such models offer us a way to picture the form or substance of the organization. Transforming Work. To do this. such as structure. edited by John D. they vary only slightly. If we are to develop our own approaches to solving organizational problems. Thus. Unfortunately. it is evident that our ways of thinking. San Diego. Their model also describes some less tangible aspects such as history. The belief system. people. 2nd Edition. The Japanese methods are successful because the Japanese culture supports them. and needs of the Japanese industrial environment are congruent and supportive of one another. In addition. they are cast off as failures. This article will examine a particular way of viewing organizations and will explore the implications of this view for American managers. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 347 . many companies have utilized these new practices as techniques. in many cases the Japanese approaches have added to the frustrations of American managers. With the myriad of demands facing managers in the United States and elsewhere today. management approaches. The constructs presented will introduce a new way of managing that may assist us in our current struggles. politics. values. processes. and the needs we have are not equally compatible. we must challenge fundamental assumptions about managing organizations. 1983. we also must confront the traditional image and role of managers. A more complete version of this concept is available in the book. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.). they can do very little to help. Japanese approaches are foreign to our way of working and our organizational traditions. Models also help to reveal the Originally published in The 1984 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J. or “Band-Aids. our management practices. it is no wonder that they are open to these new ideas.„‚ THE TRANSFORMATIONAL MANAGER: FACILITATING THE FLOW STATE Linda S. Nadler and Tushman (1980) present the organization as made of tangible parts. Virginia. This is especially useful in assessing or designing organizations. Goodstein (Eds. Alexandria. Ackerman Management literature over the past few years has been crowded with concepts and success strategies taken from the Japanese.

The solution may be for management to pay greater attention to the arrows in the organizational model. and then see that the parts work well with one another. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Tushman. Nadler and M. This is consistent with the belief that good managers are skillful problem solvers. schedules. and keep things under control. Now. more complex. solid. 47. 1). Naisbitt (1983) states. Autumn. The reality. Figure 1. 1 348 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. New York. managers design ways to maintain control over work. this type of thinking can lead to the tendency to “fix” the parts so that they fit in order to maintain or regain the status quo. a division of American Management Associations. Nadler and Tushman (1980) say that the parts must “fit together” for the organization to work effectively. has changed radically. rather than just the boxes. based on organizational needs. confusion and great uncertainty is the norm for sure” (p. © 1980 by AMACOM. by permission of the publisher. In theory. All rights reserved. from “A Model for Diagnosing Organizational Behavior” by D. When carried a bit further.A. good managers define what parts are necessary. conflict. p. ensure that each part is uniquely essential to the overall strategy. and more out of control than the models describe. More attention paid to the relationships Reprinted. 2nd Edition.complexity of organizations—the many variables or parts that contribute to the total system. then. it is no wonder that they are frustrated. meet their numerical goals. however. Organizational Dynamics. and people’s needs in order to keep the parts fitting. 1980. is that life in the organization is more dynamic. If managers believe that their task is to solve problems. This has become a fundamental assumption in management thinking. Thus.L. Nadler and Tushman’s Organizational Model 1 Another important feature of most organizational models is that they indicate the relationships or interdependencies that exist among the parts. “The world that once seemed so certain.

ORGANIZATIONS AS ENERGY Physicists hypothesize that there really is no such thing as form. implies that things are always changing. Note that it does not depict the behavior of energy. only particles that are perpetually moving in unique ways. not the numbers. as energy. In great quantity. The third ring describes typical channels through which energy flows in the organization. There is very little that does not change at some time in the organization. The movement. the core purpose of the organization is the one energy force that touches all people and ties them all together. the established method of doing something. pushing. From this we can evoke the analogy of organizations as energy. structure. that is. The organization as energy is depicted in Figure 2. what is assisting the fit. the particles compose atoms. The outer level identifies the fields that are created when energy is having a widespread effect in all or large portions of the organization. This purpose gives meaning and direction to the energy and the form of the organization. the orderly method of arrangement. 2nd Edition. is the substance of the organization.” This is a primary reason why we organize in the first place: to accomplish something. The energy model is based on the verb. and established. to organize. At the core of the organization is its purpose or reason for being. The performance. Dealing with the process of managing. can be viewed in much the same way as what appears to be solid mass. the energy. the machinery. Webster defines form as “shape. The key to viewing organizations in this way is to see them as dynamic— moving. which (also in great quantity) are perceived as form. is the point of the energy model.” It is important to note the finality or control implied by the terms structure. “Organization” is a noun. to retain or regain the status quo. Everything seeks to contribute to the pursuit of the purpose. it becomes the central linking force of everything and everyone. it is static. Ideally. The next ring identifies the sources of energy—where it comes from. We can use these apparent realities as stepping stones to understanding the nature of what it is we are to manage. what is blocking the flow. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 349 . Inevitable forces alter the way things happen. When fully understood and appreciated throughout the membership of the system. rather than just the result. shifting. This is the embodiment of energy. Webster defines energy as “the capacity for action or performing work. Organizational models. changing. or the organizational chart. or the process of organizing. This is consistent with the assumptions of management that we are questioning: the need to make things fit. This shifts our attention to daily. the work. or even momentary. and what is needed in the long range for things to happen the way management would like. the action.and the frictions between the parts will require less attention to what form the parts take or how to control them. then. Managers continually are faced with new data and new challenges. awareness of what is happening in the organization. and to manage the form. the act of managing. pulling—in short. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. orderly.

Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and the fourth ring. competitors. the marketplace and customers. the third. boundaries are merely form. However.The rings of the chart describe the energy inside the organizational boundaries. the economy. The context for managing energy is found in the purpose of the organization. and the labor force and unions. The Organization As Energy 350 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. These energies are called environmental forces. The organization also is influenced by ENVIRONMENTAL energy forces. suppliers. energy flows through and around them as it does with all forms. Figure 2. 2nd Edition. The world outside the organizational boundaries is also filled with energies that directly impact the functioning of the organization. technology. which is the central linking force in the model. they include: social values and culture. government regulations and politics. The next ring cites SOURCES of energy. energy FIELDS. CHANNELS of energy.

Usually. myths or stories. the effects of these sources of energy can change over time. or let loose without guidance. Boss subordinate. worrying. The building and evolving of human relationships as well as functional relationships generate energy as well. Today’s managers are experiencing the turbulence that occurs whenever two or more dynamic forces meet. as a description of the force set up. symbols such as logos or mementos. which is the tendency of all things to turn into their opposites over time. and strategizing about it. We also must be able to translate our conscious aims into action. enantiodromia. This is where effective The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. goals. such as control versus creativity and ambiguity versus certainty. ritual acts or ceremonies. Another polarity is the tendency to believe that one should manage form rather than energy. everyone uses up energy talking. important events. Ingalls (1979) describes a term used by Carl Jung. Polarities are only one source of energy. The desire is to create a balanced view of the two. or be channeled through the forms existing in the system. and information and language. peer. and line versus staff. At another time. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 351 .Environmental energy forces enter into and influence the behavior and effectiveness of the organization. These include: key figures in the organization. Ingalls also describes a series of polarities that underlie human energy. as circumstances shift. which is why they continue to exist. Tracking whether these sources are helpful or hindering is part of management’s responsibility in this model of the organization. The pull can be felt as the desire or need for movement in one direction or another. rewards. The emphasis on energy does not negate the form. it is always because of some source of energy. When a relationship between two people is particularly strained. build or die naturally. the opposing side will gain strength. neither side is better. ignored. we need to know where it comes from. Channels of Energy The energy that exists within the organization can scatter widely. everything seems to flow. In addition. announcements. energy surrounds the form and plays off it. job-related. At any time. 2nd Edition. Organizational polarities include long-term versus short-term needs. Serious problems occur when these energy forces are misunderstood. When a great deal of activity or feeling occurs in the organization. For this perspective to be useful. The health of relationships can greatly add to or drain organizational energy. A primary source of energy is the myriad of competing forces that exist in the organization. values. Energy results from the tension that is generated by the pushes and pulls of two or more opposing sides. rather. quantity versus quality. there is a fundamental and natural reciprocity between them. Ingalls (1979) describes a matrix between action and consciousness. we must become conscious of the energy and understand how it can guide our actions. Tension in this case need not be perceived as negative but. Sources of Energy In order to manage energy. and social relationships all create and use energy in the organization. When relationships between people or departments are smooth. one side will be more attractive or powerful than the other.

energy flows through the communication networks in the organization during all decision-making. rewards. The patterns they create become hypnotic and habitual. Information: announcements. Policies and cumbersome procedures can get in the way. One key to managing effectively is to keep channels of information and communication open and to ensure that the flow of energy. Specific events: changes in leadership. Sales.. marketing. in the form of information and indications. feelings. norms. 4. humanistic. divestitures. planning. start-ups. Energy flows. fear. and distrust can act as obstacles to the energy flow. 2nd Edition. scheduling. policies. Leadership style and philosophy: e. and key decisions. inefficiency. rumors. entrepreneurial. are great challenges to managers in times of change. inhibitions. 352 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. almost like a blanket of mist that envelops the organization. In order to change anything. myths. we must first “face up” to where we are and then begin to create new options that are more appropriate to our desired outcomes. and so on. authoritarian. Energy Fields In situations in which a feeling is widespread. Some energy fields disappear or change radically very quickly. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and production lines move energy as they carry out their roles in the organization. celebrations. ceremonies. and traditions. tradition can become a hindrance to energy flow. battles. Energy fields can occur spontaneously within minutes or grow over a long period of time. even if they were initially created to assist.management counts. confusion. depending on their outcomes. People’s attitudes and beliefs. an energy field is created. Organizational morale is an example of such an energy field. whether by plan or not. others last a very long time or never disappear at all. Energy also can be blocked by delays. acquisitions of new businesses or products. Lasting and profound energy fields. Work flow. Understanding how energy and energy fields work provides a tool with which to assist the change process. and problem-solving processes. The density of the field tends to blind people to anything but the field. Over time. review. is as clean and accurate as possible. inspirational. bureaucracy. or participative. beliefs. negative emotional states.g. maverick. All meetings have the potential to move energy or block it. such as organizational culture. Energy fields are generated by things such as: 1. rituals. Culture: values. 3. For instance. All who are within the energy field experience the same mood—the effect of the field. 2. The “grapevine” can set off resistance in the organization because of the potential for rumors to carry negative energy. and supply and distribution systems each channel energy when working effectively. and breakdowns.

still crisis oriented Concerned with rewards. Table 1. that is. withholds information. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 353 . This person works the system from the point of view of results. shares information as necessary. 2nd Edition. works for harmony. function oriented Rearranges obstacles. moves around numbers and structures Tries to manage time. Three management styles can help or hinder this process in varying degrees. MBO The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. facilitating the release and channeling of energy. image Overly controlling. One who feels powerful or effective is likely to move toward the flow state. rewards. A manager can alter his or her style at any time. alters structures to free up energy Winning and losing is not important. responsibility Gives lip service to results that serve own needs Results and outcome oriented. decisions. uses information to unblock the flow and indirectly “control”/guide events. doing what is necessary is Total-system oriented Removes. A manager who is feeling threatened is likely to move toward the fear state. The manager on the opposite end of the continuum is one who works against the system. image is an illusion Lets the flow of energy guide behavior. tries to ensure that they “fit” Win/win when possible. delegates when appropriate Flow-State Management Works with the energy flow in the system. and structures. Continuum of Management Styles Fear-State Management Works against the system Solid-State Management Works with the structures of the system. sees rewards as tools. managing in the flow state. This requires the ability to free up the energy in order to transform it. results are only temporary realities Win/lose mentality. image is important Controls using formal systems. Table 1 describes the orientation of each of these three styles. competition within reason is useful Department. Somewhere between these two is the manager who is effective at working in the traditional model. changes the structure to respond to energy needs Respects imposed timetables and uses sense of “right timing” for events Motivated from within. This is the solid-state manager. The ideal manager for the model is a true agent of change. rules.A CONTINUUM OF MANAGEMENT STYLES There are times when it is necessary to alter an organization’s fields. barriers Slave to time. encourages others to take responsibility Oriented to process. channels. respects and responds to external influencers. managing in the fear state. that is. constraining or blocking the natural flow. destructive competition Self-oriented Strategically creates obstacles. frenetic Preoccupied with payoffs. and key sources of energy. the organization of form. dissolves obstacles. policies.

scattered. clarity and foresight. aims to please. depressed. move on quickly if they occur Focuses on using others to carry out tasks Mistakes provide the most valuable source of learning. Quinn (1980) refers to this new image as “the guiding executive. alters it when necessary Allows polarities to emerge. organization’s purpose is perceived as a number Flow-State Management Clearly focused. and the process of making a contribution to the larger social environment as well as people’s lives. attentive without concern. seeks information for understanding. fights for right answers. but to be avoided. numbers. concerned. seeks feedback from own performance as well as from others Respects purpose of tradition. resources and rewards.Table 1.” one who sees 354 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. anxious. power hungry. sick Solid-State Management Pulled in many directions. rewards. shift as necessary. it is important to understand them Focuses on empowering others Focuses on controlling others Attachment to own position. power. seeks Not attached to self. profit. works regardless of mental state Accepts responsibility without knowledge of own limits. its viability. must fight for and must be distributed in logical. healthy Clear about own limits and those of others. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . opportunities for power. analytical orientation. can move in and out of authority over others consistent these conditions with ease with position Left-brain. sees only one way Work has little meaning. holds on to authority irrespective of position Erratic mental processes and behavior Looks after own position. closed to feedback on performance Intimidated by tradition Cannot see polarities. accepts feedback when given Respects. they are welcome if they occur. traditionally male behavior Right and left brain balanced for synergy. active. resists shifts Meaning is in results. embraces both sides as legitimate Meaning is in the pursuit of the organization’s purpose. exercises authority. totally ignorant of the organization’s purpose Believes in complete scarcity of Resources and rewards are finite Believes in abundance of resources. preserves tradition Sees polarities. purpose is used to connect everyone together Uncertain of own limits. 2nd Edition. Continuum of Management Styles Fear-State Management Distracted. androgynous in behavior and orientation MANAGING IN THE FLOW STATE There is little question that an expanded perspective is required of our executives and leaders. knows them standardized ways how to create them from existing or new sources Mistakes are suicidal Mistakes are inevitable. confused.

Being in the flow state means working in harmony with others and looking after the good of the whole.” Siu (1980) describes the ability in this state “to act from an instantaneous apprehension of the totality. which encourages harmony with the natural order of things. 2nd Edition. Values That Support the Flow State Certain values are espoused by flow-state managers. peace. They understand that their values must be shared in order to have a positive impact. It is the synergy between the two that enables the flow to occur.change as ongoing and who understands how to work with many variables in order for things to proceed and flow smoothly in the organization. the right being intuitive and creative. not just the favored parts of the system. They strive for the fulfillment of as well as for the potential of the individuals who contribute to it. He used himself and other public figures as models and sources. Work to them is meaningful.” This requires a broad perspective of what is going on and a sensitivity to. Gandhi was deeply guided by his inner purpose. Having no resources or form with which to manage his cause. „‚ 355 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and opened new channels for action in the British government and the Indian and Muslim states. and that we can. It states that there is a natural sequence to life. As mentioned in Table 1. objectively. or intuition about. is perpetual. They believe that there are numerous opportunities in which to demonstrate competence and effectiveness. what is needed. created a widespread energy field on behalf of his vision. and creativity. Csikszentmihalyi (1975) describes it as “the holistic sensation that people feel with total involvement. like a flowing river. this balance can be seen in managers who effectively use the functions of both brain hemispheres—the left being analytical and structured. Flow-state managers encourage the best effort from everyone and value a work environment that supports learning. facilitate the flow by removing obstacles from its way. to be in a flow state implies seeing the large picture—understanding. they also promote opportunities for group synergy and group recognition. and patience. Many of the values of the flow-state manager are illustrated by the life of Gandhi. such a person also must be aware of the potential risks involved and the personal sacrifices that may be required. and they feel enriched from their effort and time spent on behalf of the organization. the most appropriate changes or shifts that must occur and assisting these changes with the least amount of cost or disruption to the people and outputs of the organization. They see themselves as being in service to the larger purpose of the company. he became a master at managing energy. the way the universe is meant to unfold. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . In their efforts to ensure harmony among the parts of the organization. They have patience and trust in people’s intentions to work for common goals without sacrificing their personal identities. that change. Of course. He trusted that the flow of events eventually would realize his vision. It means balancing the factual data in each situation with one’s hunches about how to act. exploration. The concept of flow can be traced back to the Eastern philosophy of the Tao. at best. Applied to management thinking. his belief in equality and justice.

These symptoms then breed greater strain and fear in others. compete for scarce resources. patterns.” A variety of familiar management styles fall into this category: the authoritarian. It is nearly impossible to have a clear sense of how to proceed appropriately when one is in this state of mind. The fear state is highly contagious in organizations. and energy flow. because of this person’s ability to facilitate profound changes and achievements in the organization. and are rewarded solely for how well they control results. Under normal conditions. They 356 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. he or she also may be referred to as the “transformational” manager—one who transforms energy. They function largely from a left-brain orientation. The common factor is that they manage the components—the form of the organization—and do not see or emphasize the relationships. In and of themselves. and “head counts. People who act out of fear perceive threat in the forces around them. people strive to advance their own causes. each of these acts may be a positive condition if it serves the collective purpose of the organization rather than a few individuals. and processes as well. lose. the organizer. assignments. Some of the more people-oriented managers also are within this range. The individual. These people typically hear and see everything in the organization with the question “How can this hurt me?” in their minds. and the costs are appalling: from wasted energy and low morale to out-and-out conflict between people or organizational units. or frequently blame others for negative conditions. are reluctant to let go of a lost debate or unpopular decision. The Solid-State Manager The solid-state managerial style is familiar. and policies. Such people believe that they have no choice but to try to win. Solid-state managers are skillful at managing the traditional structures in the organization: the charts. policies. and other events to serve themselves before all others. schedules. meetings. They assume that there are not enough resources or rewards to go around. play political games. and the administrator. have difficulty delegating responsibility. dynamics. 2nd Edition. this state can be observed in individuals who lose their tempers frequently. and grasp and control information. it reflects the traditional attitudes of business in the Western hemisphere. numbers. This self-centered focus is the accompaniment of fear and defensiveness. assuming that others must. Fear-state managers have a win-lose attitude. become workaholics. deadlines. and are unaware of or afraid to trust their instincts about trends. The Fear-State Manager In most traditional organizations. The fear state drives people to withhold and protect information and power and to demonstrate blind allegiance to tradition for fear of losing ground. self-centered focus drains the potential performance of the system. The physiological reactions to fear shut down our ability to respond freely and be open to new input.The “flow state” describes the perspective from which this new type of manager operates. thereby. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . influenced by external forces such as goals.

Faith in the process includes believing that the process will indicate how to self-correct or how to reorganize in order to keep moving—much like water seeking new channels to keep flowing. visibility. Status-quo thinking alone cannot satisfy these complex demands. Pressures. intuitive responses to challenges. quantifiable facts and are truly the “good soldiers” of management. An Abundance of Opportunities To begin with. but to be avoided. Conflicts are seen as inevitable. one actively participates in the opportunities of the day. and traditions. manager’s perspectives are influenced by several unique attitudes. sometimes to a fault. People must have the freedom to explore and make mistakes. Solid-state managers frequently are successful in what they attempt to do. They plan according to available. 2nd Edition. It is rare that they will take the time to truly appreciate and learn from mistakes (or successes. The “one big chance” mentality is an illusion. Believing in abundance releases energy and excitement. the flow-state manager feels that the organization offers an abundance of opportunity to those who seek it. However. Each event. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. polarities. and these. more and more of these managers are faced with the dilemma described at the beginning of this article. Their dependence on “figuring” and “proving” can deprive them of more creative. provides more information about where one has been and where one needs to go next. moving too fast or too slowly. Because of their tendency to preserve tradition (perhaps for fear of rocking the boat). and ambiguity are a large part of reality. political expectations. By staying fresh and aware. If now is not the time. if they arise. deeply influence his or her decisions and behaviors. they are to be controlled or diffused in order to regain the status quo. another chance will emerge or. a new opportunity as yet unforeseen will surface. there is no scarcity of options and potentials. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 357 . for that matter). it is difficult to know whether or not one is on or off course. better. positive or negative. the flow-state manager values calculated risks and continual learning. solid-state managers do not actively question the way things are done. They are more apt to resist change than to initiate it. or transformational. Their best strategies somehow are not working.respond to rewards and punishments. Solid-state managers are skilled in analysis and measurement. Unfortunately for many of them. Learning Is Essential To sustain this openness. Without testing limits. There is a need for a new vision of management. How the Flow State Works The flow-state. we are no longer living in a time of stability and certainty. in turn.

some form of recognition and attention to all interested parties is wise. The solid-state manager usually can see two sides of an issue or conflict and perceives one as correct. especially during periods of uncertainty or change. may praise a point of view. As appropriate. This has major implications for how one organizes. This is true for all structures in the organization. and polarities. The flow-state manager respects such transitions. events and circumstances may change radically in the organization. is the ability to view an issue from all 358 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the flow-state manager may ask for input or feedback. easily removed. this manager realizes that role boundaries may need to be changed to reflect changes in circumstances or people. The flow-state manager encourages people to feel connected and attuned to one another. Siu (1980) warns of the dangers of taking constituents lightly. and all parties are actively involved. Unique to the flow-state manager. however. A shift in leadership or direction may cause pressure or conflict. most people require some form of security or stability to perform effectively. or may reward some contribution as a way of keeping life in the relationship with each of the stakeholder groups. 2nd Edition. There Is Meaning in All Events At times. whether or not he or she agrees with them. For this manager. differences. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . As part of his or her continuing task to facilitate the process.Structures Are Necessary and Changeable The flow-state manager recognizes that certain structures are necessary and useful. For instance. this sense of community can enhance people’s motivation to work together effectively. because each change in the organization serves some purpose in the long run. develops plans. All doors are kept open. Attending to All Stakeholders Because the tides can shift at any time. such boundaries are like walls: although they are useful for defining what is inside them. may test a new idea. Seeing the Big Picture That Surrounds Polarities The flow-state manager is open to conflicts. job descriptions provide clarity as well as reasonable boundaries between functions. they inevitably close out some things as well. Using Common Purpose As a Bond Between People Given the uncertainty in organizations. They are vehicles to facilitate the flow— easily created. At all levels of the organization. it is important to heed and value all constituents or stakeholders of the organization. and uses policies and rules. This security comes from two major sources: shared acceptance of the purpose and future goals of the organization and the sense of togetherness or community that is created by collective effort. To accomplish this. however. disrupting people and plans.

and Power The flow-state manager knows that one must always be ready to respond according to the emerging need: to act or to stop an action. A second task force is also formally created to study why the same decision should not be made. Through delegation.” thus keeping all options open. want information. and advantages and disadvantages spelled out. One task force is established to thoroughly investigate why a major decision should be made (the advocacy position). Most people. however. A few strategies are particularly useful in this regard. a manager can unlock a tremendous amount of motivation and excitement. and demonstrating trust. Quinn „‚ 359 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Focus on Empowering Others “Freedom from self” allows one to consider the needs of others. Flow-State Strategies In accordance with flow-state principles. Action. This allows a more complete and objective perspective from which to make decisions. Nonattachment to Self. managers need to be able to cope with uncertainty. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . giving away responsibility and authority. as if from above. Managing Ambiguity Given the high degree of ambiguity in organizational life. 2nd Edition. He or she attempts to facilitate higher levels of performance. and choice. This requires letting go of one’s ego attachments to favored positions. self-direction. It enables the manager to rise above the conflict without labeling any position as “right” or “wrong. to give up a position of power or to step into one. to empower others to act on their best intuition and skills. They want reinforcement or reassurance from others before they are willing to act. Flow-state managers are aware of these natural tendencies and work to generate as much clarity and understanding as possible. clear choices. A formal decision-making system based on this principle is described by Ackoff (1979).angles. allowing the manager to select the actions that are most appropriate at the time. anything that helps to facilitate the unfolding of events in the organization is considered a valuable approach. to take on leadership or to demonstrate followership. Becoming an advocate for what others (including subordinates) want to do is a key strategy for unblocking human energy in the organization and transforming it. The deciding body can then maintain a clear view of the large picture while having both sides thoroughly and legitimately reviewed. The flowstate manager realizes that all forces are cyclical in nature and that each will have its turn in time. The flow-state manager seeks opportunities for others to make a contribution. This approach increases freedom. such attachments quickly become constraints.

Others also will grow more comfortable with new directions if given an appropriate period for adjustment and an opportunity to sample a new approach. 3. when to act. outweigh 360 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. This manager also senses people’s need for direction and their openness to change. The transformational. knowing when to act is a skill. Encourage people to voice their concerns and frustrations with the unknown and reinforce the climate for learning. Create lead time for more information to surface and to facilitate people’s levels of comfort. understanding. 4. Take slow or partial steps that do not risk the entire project. When the number of people who advocate the move. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Establish criteria to test the decision. They invite the support of these people and describe the collective effort that is required for the change to occur.(1980) writes of managers who strive to amplify people’s understanding of different alternatives and their seeking of clear criteria for making decisions. It takes courage to proceed. Flow-state managers identify people throughout the organization who are best suited to advocate a desired change. flow-oriented manager knows how to order events on a linear timetable. According to Pascale (1978). 2. and resources to attract others to the effort. a basic skill in managing in an uncertain environment is knowing the distinction between having enough data to decide and having enough data to proceed. readiness. and when not to act. and momentum in the organization for implementing critical changes. Until this happens. the flow-state manager engages in building awareness. with their combined energy and intention. 5. Building Readiness: The Use of Critical Mass Building readiness is a key component of the flow-state perspective. send out test balloons and watch for prevailing winds. The key strategies in managing in ambiguous circumstances are as follows: 1. Pursue as much clarity and understanding as possible. Critical mass in an organization can be described as the necessary number of “ready” people—a momentum or energy field from which the effort can proceed on its own without continual support. This person also knows how to sense the energy. reputations. providing the logical sequence so necessary to planning and implementing complex changes. This takes time and care. and support for the desired outcome. influence. timing is an important element in the success or failure of many endeavors. They then use their skills. Sense of Timing In uncertain situations. 2nd Edition. Nuclear physics offers us the term “critical mass”—the point at which the momentum necessary for action to occur is reached. the flow-state manager knows that further action will reveal even more data.

Assessing the Situation The characteristics described in this article can be exemplified by several questions that the flow-state manager might ask to assess any situation in the organization. motivation. etc. How does this situation fit the larger purpose of the organization? 2. and problem solving. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 361 . alignment of the parts. and sharing of a common purpose) of the organization. The flow-state manager looks after the mental functioning (decision making. The flow-state manager is keenly aware of his or her inner state and balances and cares for four core aspects of the person: the mind. planning. An inner flow state in every person directly affects that person’s level of performance and ability to be in synchronization with the flow of the larger organization. 1. for example). these components are interlinked. structure. its members work together in pursuit of the purpose. resources. This form of influence grows from a manager’s intuitive sense of what is needed to facilitate the flow and is congruent with the larger picture as well. Nurturing the Inner Flow State An organization functions effectively when its purpose is clear. timing. a critical mass is reached and the effort proceeds. What is needed to have this situation turn out ideally for everyone involved? What opportunity is here? What is at stake? 3. the heart (emotions).those who resist or have not committed themselves. 2nd Edition. creativity. and culture). As in the organization. This picture of organizational health is a collective reflection of the health of members of the organization. It must be emphasized that this is a strategically proactive move for the transformational manager. and the spirit. and use of resources). What in our direct control can be easily created or removed to assist this effort? What channels can be opened? What structures are needed? The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. What circumstances and events have led up to this point? How does this historical perspective influence the way in which we might proceed or the outcome desired? What polarities exist? What is the existing energy field? 4. The approach is active rather than responsive. the physical ability (operations. and the energy flows smoothly. the emotions (morale.)? What real or potential obstacles stand in our way? 5. The balance of these aspects directly affects the health of the organization and the degree to which its energy can flow naturally. Peak performance is the outcome of all four working in support of one another. and the spirit (meaningful work. The mind-body-heart-spirit model is applicable at the organizational level as well. the body. Maintaining this ability requires that the manager keep his or her awareness of the organization finely tuned. What do we have going in our favor (people.

What is the best timing for events to occur? What is an appropriate sequence? 11. new learnings and data emerge to help shape ensuing strategies. etc.)? 14. A new terminology to discuss energy and flow operationally. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . loss of resources. resistance. Awareness of the shift from talking about nouns (forms and results) to speaking in terms of verbs and gerunds (processes). How visible should we be? Should the total effort move ahead at once or should we proceed one piece at a time or in phases? 13.g. What other pressures might emerge (e. How Would Organizations Be Different Under This Frame of Reference? The implications of applying the flow-state concept in our existing organizations include the need for attention to the following: 1. What assumptions are we making about our desired outcomes or the needs/opportunities facing us? Are these consistent with other people’s views? 9. change of leadership. Flow-state managers ask such questions on an ongoing basis while keeping the underlying principle in mind: What is the best way to proceed to serve the highest purpose for all involved? At times they may choose to do nothing but watch and support. 2nd Edition. what hunches or feelings do I have about how to proceed? The information from these questions shapes a strategy for action. or special consideration? How might these things happen? 7.6. From each action. IMPLICATIONS OF MANAGING IN THE FLOW STATE AND THE USE OF ORGANIZATIONAL ENERGY The concepts presented here describe an ideal state. Who is essential to the critical mass? How can these people be reached and involved to help open channels and build a positive energy field? 8. As I look at the overall picture. Descriptions of reality that use action terms to define the energy flow better. longer lead time. Should we be proactive or is it best for us to let things unfold for now? 12. Whether it is possible or practical in today’s organization bears further exploration and discussion.. What can we learn from this experience? What is meaningful about it? 15. What requires indirect influence. What is my interest in this? What is in this for others? How can I be an advocate for them or empower them? 10. 362 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. This model is created to help to explain an expanded view of the dynamics of managing.

and change. and adaptable. Learning experiences. how to use these people. etc. It is necessary to identify whom to invite initially. and fields of energy to ascertain what helps the organization to adapt to greater complexity and what hinders it. The experience of energy flowing freely is a great motivator to continue the process. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.) and where he or she sits on the continuum of management styles. What specifically would need to be changed? Who would assist the effort? What forms of resistance might be encountered? What sacrifices must be made. and how to spread the awareness. and feedback mechanisms must be developed that reflect the state itself. language. resources. and adaptability that are necessary for change to occur. Understanding of the model of energy as an organization moves through its natural life cycle. compared to what gains? What would be the cost in dollars.2. Such new forms must be self-organizing. responsibility. an approach can be developed in which changes are sequenced and paced appropriately. along with ways to use them best to serve the larger purpose of the organization. Assessment of which management strategies are appropriate to the current growth rate and phase of the organization. 2nd Edition. New organizational forms and systems that are responsive to the energy flow rather than obstacles to it. How Does One Implement Change in Organizational Forms and Management Styles? Organizations must determine whether their existing energy channels can be opened up or new ones created. channels. Examination of pervasive cultural factors to see whether they block the selfresponsibility. Understanding of organizational members’ beliefs about the organization’s future. selfcorrecting. There is also a need to explore how computers and other technology can be utilized to enhance information and energy flow. as processes. emotion? From this information. 3. Key sources of energy (people. 5. It is also necessary to study carefully the impact of the potential changes on existing structures and managers. Assessment of the existing sources. events. 4. etc. This awareness can indicate the need for new perspectives and actions. A strategy can be developed for building a critical mass of supporters within the targeted system. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 363 . Greater focus on the purpose of the organization and monitoring to ensure that it continues to fit the demands of the larger environment and that all members of the organization are aware of it and understand it. its management style. Care must be taken not to push the existing system beyond its limits to absorb and respond to changes. managers must be taught the principles of the flow state. What beliefs would support desired changes? 6. Finally. creativity. Each manager can be asked to reflect on the way he or she views the organization (as form.) can be identified. time. Assuming That It Is Desirable.

(1975). Ingalls. Managing in the flow state is an attitude.H. no matter what the outcome. J.C. That shift is internal to us. Human energy. 1981.B. it is an inspiration for behavior. Beyond boredom and anxiety. Nadler. It is a state of being. When [the effective leader] is finished with his work. 2nd Edition. Some shift in perspective is essential before we can experience relief.L. “It happened naturally. Management seminar proceedings. A great deal of personal commitment and integrity are necessary to maintain the flow-state frame of mind. 21(4). 1. Whatever aids the natural unfolding of events is the flow state. The master manager. conduct debates about problems and possible solutions. Siu. to our attitudes and beliefs. Autumn). The value felt will match the situation at hand. work collaboratively across functions. New York: Simon & Schuster. (1980). and a deeper alignment with the purpose of the organization. Managers can assist that unfolding. (1979). p. things will continue to unfold. Inc. San Diego. Sloan Management Review. No matter what we actually do. Maccoby.” Lao Tse (Quoted in M. M. 5. 11) REFERENCES Ackoff. the possibilities are limitless. it would seem that anything that would make life in the organization run more smoothly would be welcomed. .T. the people say. The model predicts higher motivation. Naisbitt. a more satisfying quality of work life. The leader: A new face for American management. Pascale. (1978. We can consider ourselves successful if . With the increasing complexity and need for change in today’s organizations. D. and then follow up responsibly. Chichester. A model for organizational diagnosis. not an absolute. constructive tension. (1983). Fear can be transformed. not a place to go. Csikszentmihalyi. Fall). 156. Radnor. Maccoby.D. England: John Wiley. R.A.Life in the Organization in the Flow State The objectives of the flow-state model are to have organizational members care about one another. M. (1979. Form and energy can work in harmony. & Tushman. p. PA: Sun Company. Zen and the art of management. (1980. J. Organizational Dynamics. pride in performance. The flow state is a process. March-April). Quinn. R. 7. San Francisco. R. (1980). Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . J. (1981). . CA: Jossey-Bass. Managing strategic change. CA: Learning Concepts. if only by not blocking the way. nor can they hope to apply “Band-Aids” to organizational wounds. not an end result.. 364 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Trend Letter. 47. Harvard Business Review. M. Executives cannot fight or ignore the challenges. more trust and patience. 2(4). p. As a way of viewing the world.

Strategic planning is.). targets must be developed within the context of the desired future state and must be realistic. However. objective. Thus. J. and the formal strategic planning process has been used for over thirty years. a strategic planning process should provide the criteria for making organizational decisions at all levels and should provide a template against which all such decisions can be evaluated. The envisioning process is very different from long-range planning—the simple extrapolation of statistical trends or forecasts—and it is more than attempting to anticipate the future and prepare accordingly. 2nd Edition. which obviously is nonfunctional. William Pfeiffer (Eds. our experience as consultants to a variety of organizations has convinced us that most strategic planning processes are poorly conceptualized and poorly executed. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 365 . CA: Pfeiffer & Company. All too often. they frequently look pained or embarrassed and begin to search through their files to find the plan. however. The model of strategic planning presented here helps an organization to understand that the strategic planning process does more than plan for the future. San Diego. William Pfeiffer. Originally published in The 1985 Annual: Developing Human Resources by Leonard D. The goals and objectives developed within the strategic planning process should provide the organization with its core priorities and a set of guidelines for virtually all day-to-day managerial decisions. Envisioning involves a belief that aspects of the future can be influenced and changed by what we do now. more than just an envisioning process. It requires the setting of clear goals and objectives and the attainment of those goals and objectives within specified periods of time in order to reach the planned future state. and attainable. Goodstein. To be successful. A DEFINITION OF STRATEGIC PLANNING Strategic planning is the process by which an organization envisions its future and develops the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future. Goldstein and J. strategic planning is seen as a top-management exercise that has little to do with the actual running of the organization.„‚ APPLIED STRATEGIC PLANNING: A NEW MODEL FOR ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH AND VITALITY Leonard D. the strategic plan rarely impacts the day-to-day decisions made in the organization. and Timothy M. Nolan Most organizations do some type of long-range or strategic planning. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. When a consultant asks the managers of an organization about its strategic plan. it helps the organization to create its future. This vision of the future state of the organization provides both the direction in which the organization should move and the energy to begin that move.

not only after its completion but at every step along the way. always faces us. functional objectives. Although documents delineating mission statements. the task of management is to ensure its implementation and then plan when to begin the next planning cycle. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and process. emphasis. not the plan that is produced.This definition of strategic planning focuses on the process of planning. and highlight the role of the human resource development (HRD) professional in strategic planning. 2nd Edition. discuss how it can be used. The Applied Strategic Planning Model 366 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. never-ending tasks of management. Hence the title “Applied Strategic Planning Model. This model is intended to be especially useful for medium-sized and small organizations and is as useful for nonprofit organizations as it is for business and industrial organizations. and Nolan (1986). by definition. Strategic planning and strategic management—the day-to-day implementation of the strategic plan—are the most important. The model differs from others in its continual concern with application and implementation. and the establishment of priorities that characterize successful strategic planning. the confrontation of difficult choices. Once a strategic planning cycle is completed. The use of this model in an organization’s strategic planning will provide both new direction and new energy to that organization. Strategic planning also is a reiterative process. Goodstein. it is the process of self-examination. strategic goals. especially top management. thus.” The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the model. These are described in greater detail in Pfeiffer. A NEW STRATEGIC PLANNING MODEL The new model of strategic planning is based on existing models but differs in content. and so on do emerge from the planning process. Figure 1. organizations always must be in the simultaneous processes of planning and implementing plans. Documents too often are merely filed away until a revision is mandated by some external force. The future.

The CEO should be involved. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 367 . The Applied Strategic Planning Model The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Once commitment from the chief executive officer is secured. 80) points out that the CEO can be the president. What is critical is that this authority must be involved in the planning process in a highly visible way to signify commitment. especially in the early stages. the next concern is to identify the planning team. The first step in planning to plan is to make certain that there is organizational commitment to the process—that the key people in the organization.Planning To Plan The prework of the strategic planning process involves answering a host of questions and making a number of decisions. These issues must be resolved before the decision to plan can be made. The model presented here requires topmanagement involvement on a continuous basis. The questions include: How much commitment is there to the planning process? Who should be involved? How long will it take? What do we need to know in order to plan successfully? Who should develop the data? Planning to plan includes developing the answers to these questions and making these decisions prior to the initiation of any actual planning process. this authority can be exercised by a divisional manager or the like. the president and the executive vice president. as should other key people in the organization. and so on. At the same time. considering who will and who will not be involved. both input to the process and reactions to decisions that are being reached must be solicited from a Figure 1 (continued below). 2nd Edition. in the case of a division of an organization. especially the chief executive officer (CEO). see the planning process as important and are willing to invest time and effort in the process in a way that is visible to the rest of the organization. It is critically important not to rush into the process without clarifying various expectations. Steiner (1979) defines the CEO as the person or persons with the authority to manage the organization. or some other combination of individuals. all of which are critically important to the eventual success or failure of the entire planning process. Steiner (p.

With each repetition of the process.broadly representative group of people in the organization. are matters that need to be addressed with both candor and sensitivity by those initiating the strategic planning process. for two or three days at a time. To be effective. it is more likely that significant stumbling blocks will arise at various points in the sequence. it usually takes longer than anticipated. The HRD professional fills two potential. As with many such processes. In such circumstances. it is not possible to predict how long the process will take. The proper role of staff in this process is to serve as a resource to the management planning group. and develop alternative ways of integrating and implementing the action steps that emerge from the planning process. Who should be involved. the HRD person represents the human resource function and argues for HRD concerns. Again. how available the necessary data will be. and skills— especially its skills in problem identification and problem solving. blocks that must be addressed and resolved before the group can move on. we believe that deciding the future course of an organization is the task of top management—a task that cannot and should not be delegated. develop a mission statement that is rapidly and enthusiastically endorsed by the organization. 2nd Edition. Without the answers to such questions. However. and implemented promptly. how much team building the team has undergone. integrated. to conduct research. tested. yet incompatible. The second role is that of facilitator. Realistically. In this role. Although it has been suggested that the planning process be assigned to a staff group. the process can be completed in nine to twelve months. Another issue that must be dealt with is how long the process will take. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . the various power groups that exist. what the selection process should be. an organization should expect to spend eight to twenty days in the initial round of the planning process. The first is that of a participant in the process. The resulting action plans then would be developed. how to solicit input and feedback regularly from various segments of the organization. the person who ensures that process issues are 368 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. and so on. these issues should be resolved prior to the initiation of any actual planning. It often is difficult to ascertain how much consensus already exists within the management team on a variety of issues. roles in the strategic planning process. its structure. Ideally. In an ideal model. and what the resources of the organization are for developing data that do not exist. and then develop strategic plans expeditiously. a planning team should be able to observe and process its own group dynamics. perhaps every six weeks. the time may be reduced by half. the planning group would meet fairly regularly. depending on its size. the group would work effectively toward consensus. and the organization’s history in dealing with issues of general organizational importance. This means that the planning team probably should not exceed ten to twelve permanent members. until a minimum of two to four days is required. complexity. generate data. how to deal with organizational members who feel that they should have been included. Among the factors to be considered in making these decisions are the size of the organization.

and. the values of the organization must be dealt with. in some respects. despite skill or intent. The site must be away from the interruptions of daily work. and the actual strategic plan for an organization represents the operational implementation of the consensual values of the management team. finally. the organization’s philosophy of operations. the organization’s culture. but because organizational values are not easily tapped or identified. These differences have clear implications for the organization’s future. This step also involves an examination of the personal values of the individual members of the team. In this values audit. Both the „‚ 369 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . An individual for whom excitement is an important personal value will envision a different organizational future than will a person who holds security as a high personal value. Indeed. there may be little or no agreement about how the organization’s future meets the personal expectations of the individual members of the management group. for example. A retreat-type setting often is conducive to the kind of envisioning and confrontation that is involved in strategic planning. The type of facility that might be used for a team-building session probably would be appropriate for a strategic planning session. and all other work of the management team. and resolved early in the planning process. the goals and dreams of an individual who holds professional reputation as a value and is less interested in power will be different from those of a person with the opposite priorities. how much risk taking the organization should engage in or whether “equity” is a strongly held organizational value. an emphasis that is different from that found in most strategic planning models. 5). it makes sense for an external HRD person to perform the second role. it may require some exploration by the planning team to determine. decision-making processes. If the differences are not identified. If the first role is to be played by an internal person. design. Another issue is where the strategic planning sessions should be conducted. a value-clarification exercise. the current values of the organization. can play both roles successfully. These are evidenced by the end state or mode of behavior that the organization appears to prefer. Once the individual values of the management planning team have been worked through. the planning team moves from an individual focus to a broader examination of the organization and how it works as a social system. Likewise. strategic planning is. Rokeach (1973) defines a value as “an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence” (p. The values audit is the first formal step of this strategic planning model. the assumptions that the organization ordinarily uses in its operations. It is clear that no one person. Once there is clarity and consensus on values. 2nd Edition.addressed properly. The Values Audit A values audit is an examination of the values of the members of the planning team. the strategic planning process can move ahead. clarified. the values of the stakeholders in the organization’s future.

Efficiency We use resources to the fullest. and value for money is our goal. that is. An organization’s philosophy of operations includes a series of assumptions about the way things work and the way in which decisions are made. Such assumptions in the profit-making sector include “No profit can be made doing business with the government” or “Allowing a labor union to organize our hourly production people 370 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Responsibility As individuals. the way the organization approaches its work. 1. Mutuality A mutual benefit is a shared benefit. The Five Principles of Mars These formal statements integrate the organization’s values with the way it does business. the multinational candy corporation (see Figure 2). 5. as associates. it is necessary to make it explicit as part of the strategic planning process. All organizations have philosophies of operation. and there are serious sanctions against any violation of the philosophy by an organizational member. If an organization’s philosophy of operations is implicit. such as the Five Principles of Mars. Any strategic plan that attempts to ignore or is inconsistent with or contrary to the existing organizational values is extremely unlikely to succeed and may well backfire. we support the responsibilities of others. formal statements of philosophy. Quality The consumer is our boss. we demand total responsibility from ourselves. Freedom We need freedom to shape our future. Some organizations have explicit. 2. whether or not these are stated explicitly. 3. and do only what we can do best. The point emphasized here is that organizations have values and that these values must be identified as part of the strategic planning process. Figure 2. 4. we need profit to remain free.development of such questions and the process of searching for answers require some level of facilitative expertise. 2nd Edition. and all organizations disseminate their philosophies and judge members on conformance to philosophy. Value-driven organizations such as Mars spend a good deal of time and energy disseminating and tracking the impact of their philosophy on all organizational behavior. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . An organization’s values are organized and codified into its philosophy of operations. All employees are expected to know the philosophy and to use it in their daily work. The strategic plan must fit the philosophy or the philosophy must be modified—a difficult task at best. a shared benefit will endure. quality is our work. waste nothing .

status. defines as “the way we do things around here” (Deal & Kennedy. unions. groups.” Some general assumptions are that the organization’s growth is assured by an expanding and more affluent population or that there never will be a satisfactory substitute for the organization’s major product or service. its operations. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. 1972. parking-lot attendants. The planning team members’ values. former managing director of McKinsey and Company. which Marvin Bowers. and its operating assumptions all produce the organization’s culture. it is doomed to failure. 4). and the like—behave toward them. suppliers. This information should be analyzed and integrated into the strategic planning process. and their concerns must be determined (that is. 2nd Edition. p.” the organizational heroes and villains. and how things do or should work and to examine their validity. at the appropriate time in the planning process.would destroy this company. freedom of action. to present them to the group for examination. its philosophy of operations. An outsider first experiences the organization’s culture in its physical structure and then in how those guarding the organization’s boundaries— guards. and organizations who will be impacted by or interested in the organization’s strategic plan.” In the nonprofit sector. The strategic planning team also should examine its own culture and realize how it affects the process of planning the organization’s future. relationships. Finally. If the strategic plan is not integrated with the culture of the organization. The war stories told about the heroics of the organization in the “good (or bad) old days. and the symbols that the organization uses to portray itself to the public provide information about the organization and its culture. receptionists. governments. There is no single index of an organization’s culture. and practically everything else they do in the organization. an audit of organizational values requires a stakeholder analysis. They must be identified. typical assumptions are: “If we do not spend all of this year’s budget. task behavior. Thus. clients or customers. It guides the organization’s members in decision making. owners. This may require some courage on the part of the consultant. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 371 . Unless such assumptions are examined in terms of their current validity and relevance—whether or not they ever were true or relevant—the organization will continue to assume that they are true and operate accordingly. they will cut us next time” and “You have to go along to get along. Stakeholders typically include: employees (including managers). the rites and rituals of the organization. One function of the strategic planning consultant is to keep a record of organizational assumptions as they are observed and. but the anthropological evidence is everywhere. the organization’s values. Stakeholders are those individuals. and activities may appear to them to be impacted by shifts or changes in the organization’s direction). creditors. how their resources. The organization’s culture provides the social surroundings in and through which the organization performs its work. an important part of the strategic planning process is to identify the assumptions that the organization makes about its environment.

The stakeholders are the various constituencies that need to be considered by the strategic planning team. solar and wind power generators. differences in values. the differences do not interfere with the planning process and it is relatively easy to move to the next stage of the process. and less likely to experience obsolescence and decline. Successful organizations try to identify value-satisfying goods and services that meet the needs of the public and include these considerations in their mission formulations. such myopia prevents organizations both from seeing new opportunity for growth and expansion and from responding to threats and challenges. regardless of whether or not such a belief is accurate or reasonable. it will be more sensitive to identifying and treating those needs. and members of the community who believe that they have a stake in the organization. The major 372 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (b) For whom does the organization perform this function?. the planning team can turn its attention to the next stage of the process: mission formulation. Once these issues are successfully clarified and resolved. more likely to develop new products and services to meet those needs. a more selective list may emerge. The recommended alternative is to answer the question in terms of the customer or client needs that the organization attempts to meet. If a detergent manufacturer sees itself as being in the business of providing a mechanism for helping people to clean their garments. a concise declaration of the purpose or function that the organization is attempting to fulfill in society or the economy. This involves developing a clear statement of what business the organization is in. It requires an in-depth analysis of the most fundamental beliefs that underlie organizational life and organizational decision making. the impact of various future states on different stakeholders can be considered.” As Levitt (1975) pointed out a decade ago. and assumptions will surface continually in the planning process and block forward movement. an organization must answer three primary questions: (a) What function does the organization perform?. In formulating its mission. If an organization identifies itself as meeting certain public needs. Manufacturers of detergents see themselves as in the “soap business. Such confrontation can be a long and painful experience. The values audit is the most important and the most difficult part of the planning process. 2nd Edition. and so on). Mission Formulation When there is informed consensus about the underlying values and beliefs that will drive the organization. or if gasoline producers see themselves as being in the business of providing sources of energy to consumers. many new options are open to them (ultrasonic cleaners. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . philosophy.shareholders. It is important to identify who the planning team regards as significant stakeholders early in the values audit. If this is not done until later in the process.” and gasoline producers see themselves as in the “oil business. But without such work. Once the stakeholders are identified. and (c) How does the organization go about filling this function? Most organizations tend to answer the “what” question in terms of the goods or services produced.

no matter how large. 2nd Edition. corn-sugar refining. done better. Federal Express serves customers who are willing to spend more than the price of ordinary postage to ensure next-day delivery of packages. The mission formulation requires a clear identification of what portion of the total potential customer base an organization identifies as its primary target. General Motors has five traditional automobile lines. 3. Tregoe and Zimmerman (1980) identify nine basic categories of driving forces. Market-driven organizations continually survey potential customers to discover unfilled needs for goods and services. it may involve a distribution system. and so on. Production Capability. such as being the low-cost producer or the technological leader or the high-quality manufacturer. Organizations that are technology driven continually try to develop products and services based on the latest scientific breakthroughs. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 373 . These are: 1. It may involve customer service or personalized selling or any of a variety of processes through which an organization can deliver products or services to a defined consumer group. and limits its strategy to more of that product or service. financially. The “how” can involve a marketing strategy. Once the planning team has identified what the organization does and for whom. 4. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The process of sorting out the potential customer or client base and identifying which portion should be sought out by the organization typically is called market segmentation. Markets can be segmented in many ways: geographically. or automotive manufacturing.g. can meet all the needs of all possible clients or customers.. ethnically. the organization develops products to fill those needs. Products or Services Offered. each designed for consumers in different economic strata. 2. Once these are identified. Capacity-driven organizations have a primary commitment to keeping their existing production capability utilized. Kosher foods have devout consumers. The organization is committed primarily to a product or service such as retail banking. to have hospital beds filled or to have aluminum ingots on the back loading dock ready to be shipped. e. the next step is deciding how the organization will proceed to achieve these targets. The needs of Sun Belt consumers are different from those of Frost Belt consumers. such as regional warehouses or evening classes in factories or no-appointment medical treatment facilities. Market Needs. Identifying the “who” is the second concern of mission formulation. No organization. One more important factor must be considered as part of mission formulation: the identification and prioritizing of the organization’s driving forces.issue in mission formulation typically is achieving consensus on how broadly or narrowly to answer the “what” question. as do soul foods. Technology.

metals. Profit/Return on Investment. 7. for whom. timber. these elements can be woven into the organization’s mission statement.” “who. premiums and bonus programs. Some organizations set high requirements about profit margins or return on investments and make decisions to achieve those goals. Certain types of organizations are driven by their dependence on natural resources such as coal. The method of sale. which should be known to all members of the organization and understood by them. such as door-to-door selling. strategic. when decisions are to be made that require choosing among these nine considerations. or the development of a sales force in order to achieve growth. on the other hand. The following is an example of a reasonably effective mission statement: 374 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. rather than to attempt to identify a single one. manufacturer’s representatives. We. Size and Growth. 9. and identifies the organization’s major. A consensual rank order. 6. answers the questions of what the organization does. strategic decisions that organizations make involve the allocation of resources according to a set of priorities. enables the planning team to make otherwise difficult decisions rather easily. or research and development. Once the questions of “what. Some organizations are driven by their current method of distribution.5. direct mail. and so on. the rank order of the nine strategic areas will determine how resources are to be allocated or which direction will be chosen. Although all nine of these areas should be considered in strategic planning. the organization identifies its distinctive competence(s)—those distinctive products or services offered by the organization that set it apart from its competitors. the decision makers in the organization must have mutual understanding about whether their goal is to emphasize profit. pipelines. Method of Distribution. directs the strategy of these organizations. and so on. This should be a brief (one hundred words or less) statement that identifies the basic business the organization is in. have found it to be more useful to have the strategic planning team prioritize the driving forces from one to nine in terms of their perceived relative importance. or land. When there are inadequate resources or the choices are incompatible. Method of Sale. The mission statement. The importance of gaining consensus on these priorities should be apparent. 8. Most major. 2nd Edition. Organizations that are driven by set goals regarding size and growth constantly strive for continuing significant growth above current performance. with the most important driving force in first place.” and “how” are answered and the driving force identified. Tregoe and Zimmerman believe that an organization must be clear about which factor is its driving force. and how. Natural Resources. petroleum. driving force. which may be regional warehouses. By providing this information for both internal and external use. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . or some other factor that will be the single driving force behind the organization’s strategy.

We intend to maintain our position as a market leader by meeting customer needs and providing a high level of quality and service while maintaining a sufficiently high level of earnings to satisfy our investors. a statement about how much organizational risk taking will be involved. Developing. capital.” With this target established. The next step is for each major unit of the organization to develop its own mission statement. Examples of these might be: increase after-tax profits to 5 percent. The specific products and services that the organization proposes to provide and the specific markets to which they will be aimed also should be identified. editing. Unit mission statements should be more focused and more limited than that of the total organization. and so on. product development or acquisitions.000 in capital equipment. and how other critical areas of organizational activity will be managed. patience. and understanding. or quantified business objective. As an example. Statements of how the quantified business objectives will be achieved. marketing strategies. and reaching consensus on such a statement requires skill. However. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 375 . reduce annual turnover to less than 9 percent. For example. (b) purchasing $500. and human resource needs can be considered. but they clearly must be derived from the organizational statement. the second part of strategic business modeling is to define how it will be done. how that success will be measured. market penetration.The Alpha Corporation is a low-cost manufacturer and marketer of consumable food-service items for home and industrial use. 2nd Edition. liquidity. the mission statement provides an enormously valuable management tool to an organization: it clearly charts its future direction and establishes a basis for organizational decision making. The strategic profile should identify the business(es) the organization wants to be in three to five years in the future. the objective “reduce the effective tax rate to 25 percent” will be achieved by (a) sheltering 70 percent of income. the Alpha Corporation’s strategic profile may include: “increase sales 15 percent a year for five years. Developing a mission statement is an extremely difficult and time-consuming task but one that the planning group must complete before moving to the next step. in specific segments. including the quantitatively specific indicators of success such as profitability. and pay no more than 20 percent of net income in taxes. These would then be detailed in a later phase called “integrating functional plans. consistent with the newly established mission statement. The strategic business model consists of two parts: 1. and what will be done to achieve it. Strategic Business Modeling Strategic business modeling is the process by which the organization more specifically defines success in the context of the business(es) it wants to be in. 2.” The “how” consideration would include the The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The strategic profile. At this point the issues of plant capacity. how competitors will be approached. This may include a model of the future organization. and so on.

Performance Audit The performance audit examines the recent performance of the organization in terms of the basic performance indices (such as growth. quality. profit. in contrast. The 376 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. a freeflowing generation of ideas that involves many alternative options for the organization to consider. Strategic business modeling. employee productivity. When an organization focuses heavily on that area of the market that it currently occupies. the organization takes responsibility for its own future rather than assigning that responsibility to unseen external forces. and to work proactively to make that desired future state occur. return on investment. Success in this phase of the process is most likely to be attained when there is maximum creative output within realistic boundaries.identification of the various routes by which each organizational objective could be met. It is important to envision an organization’s future prior to an in-depth analysis of its current performance. scrap rate. The resulting target should reflect the values and major directions developed in the earlier stages of the planning process. modeling involves a heavy emphasis on focused creativity. it is possible to anticipate significant aspects of the future. service. First. it overlooks other possible markets. Several considerations are critical to the success of this stage. a cost/benefit analysis of each. 2nd Edition. Both of these plans involve only slight variations in or expansions of the product or service offered in existing markets. There is little or no point in the Alpha Corporation’s planning team considering a new business focus unless the corporation has expertise and resources in that business. the modeling must be done in a context of proactive futuring: the belief that. and so on) that have been identified in the strategic profile. Third. cash flow. A hospital may plan to open a suburban branch. and selection of the particular strategies that are most likely to achieve the organization’s objectives. inventory turnover. Any data that can help the organization to better understand its present capabilities for doing its work should be included in the performance analysis. provides a template against which the organization can measure a number of its recent decisions. the modeling must be congruent with and build on the identified values and mission of the organization. facilities (including capacity and condition). although no one can fully predict the future. to conceptualize a desired end state for the organization taking those anticipated aspects of the future into account. The Alpha Corporation may plan to sell more units through its existing distribution network. Such data might include life cycles of existing products. Such typical long-range planning often is myopic and unduly constraining. and management capability. The purpose of the performance audit is to provide the data with which the “gap analysis”—the determination of to what degree the strategic business model is a realistic and workable one—can be conducted. Within this context. Second. Long-range planning tends to be merely an extension of what an organization is doing already. That applied strategic planning is distinctively different from long-range planning becomes most clear in the strategic business modeling process. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . production.

the organization may need to hire or reassign financial staff to research. it is a critical step that must be completed adequately.” Much. validate. the basis for planning is incomplete and shaky. This information should include a consideration of both current and future trends—a longitudinal perspective. the need for candor. and analyze the data. market research. personnel. In the game of chess. and studies of work-force availability should be included in the data gathered for the performance audit. . A strategic business unit is a division. then I will need to . the loan department in a bank. An organization that fools itself during the performance audit is almost certain to find itself with an unworkable plan. which profiles organizations that are in the same business or aiming for the same market segment of clients or consumers. In addition.important question that the performance analysis must answer is whether or not the organization has the capability to successfully implement its strategic business plan and achieve its mission. the home-furnishings division of a large department store. and—as an additional benefit—to increase awareness of the marketplace. However. in planning the performance audit. One major emphasis of the performance-audit analysis should be a strategic business unit (SBU) analysis. This is a crunch point in many organizations: the ability—in terms of time. 2nd Edition. Because the competitor analysis may require some research. Therefore. In addition. The competitor analysis should include “creative crossovers”—items that are sold or services that are delivered for similar reasons. and so on—to handle and report on the data. including financial reporting systems. . how strengths can be reinforced and weaknesses eliminated.. but not all. Furthermore. without this important. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 377 . of the data required for the performance audit will be available in organizations that have good management information systems. “If I do this. and so on. or the pharmacy in a large “drugstore.e. one of the chief competitors of Cross pens during the holiday season is not another pen manufacturer but the billfold industry. we recommend that each member of the planning team have responsibility for conducting an analysis of one to three competitors. The performance audit also should include information about the forces outside the organization that might impact the strategic business model.” i. examination of macro and micro economic trends. One of the most important sets of data is the competitor analysis. detailed information. for example. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. expertise. .” The SBU analysis should identify which aspects of the business are losing money. However. this is called “thinking down board. because both pen-and-pencil sets and billfolds are frequently purchased as holiday gifts for men. special attention must be paid to securing the hard data that will indicate the organization’s capacity to move in the identified strategic directions. and nondefensiveness during the performance audit cannot be underestimated. department. It should be obvious by now that the performance audit and subsequent analysis are some of the most detailed and time-consuming aspects of the strategic planning process. For example. my competitor will do that. although data bases may be available (inside or outside the organization). or product line that is a business unto itself within the organization. openness.

This portion of the gap analysis requires the same degree of openness. For example. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . 2nd Edition. Contingency planning is placed below the linear phases of the model (see Figure 1) because those phases are based on high-probability assumptions. Occasionally. and the like. in turn. the planning team must return to the strategic business modeling phase and rework the model until the gap between the profile and the organization’s capacity to achieve it is reduced to a more realistic size. or the organization. it is the anchor that keeps the plan from floating off in an unguided. direction. or both need to be modified in order to close the gaps between the plan and the organization’s capacity. Contingency Planning As part of the gap analysis. or misguided. the mission statement may even need to be modified in the process.Obviously. Although these events or conditions are not highly likely to occur. the gap analysis is a comparison of the data generated in the performance audit with the strategic profile. For this reason. plans that do not take into account and build on the organization’s culture are not likely to succeed. The gap analysis is important because it tests the organization’s “wants” against reality. Gap Analysis As was mentioned previously. Several repetitions of this process may be necessary before the gaps can be closed. A significant part of the gap analysis is the comparison of the strategic business model with the outcome of the values audit and the mission statement. in order to ascertain that the things the organization is proposing to do are consistent with its culture. producers of building materials are heavily influenced by new housing starts which. the Applied Strategic Planning Model (Figure 1) depicts an arrow running backward from the gap analysis to the strategic business modeling phase. economic collapse. If the gap analysis reveals a substantial disparity between the performance audit and the strategic profile or the strategies identified for achieving it. the time and effort put into the strategic planning process will result in a travesty. in effect. the strategic planning group typically will identify the major opportunities of and threats to the organization as well as the key indicators that suggest that these opportunities or threats are likely to become realities. Obviously. each type of business or organization is subject to a specific set of contingencies that must be planned for. either the strategic business model. If there is a substantial discrepancy between the profile and the organization’s capacity to achieve that profile. candor. the design or functioning of the organization may need to be reexamined. and confrontation that should have typified the original values audit. they are considered because they will necessitate changes if they do occur. Aside from “universal” concerns such as war. As has been noted earlier. in addition to the arrows running forward from strategic business modeling to the performance audit and then to the gap analysis. under such circumstances. are a function of interest rates and general economic 378 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20.

with a budget and a clear-cut timetable for execution. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 379 . such as interest rates. technical. or it could be a sharp. and administrative levels would be developed for the time period of the plan. a product plan. each of which should be called on to develop detailed. the decision is made that conditions are different. A “trigger point” could be an event such as the warehouse burning down or a major supplier’s failure to renew a contract. functional plans. a producer of building materials may identify several alternative futures. and develop alternative plans based on possible variations in these factors. housing starts. in a human resources plan. each of which can be evaluated and planned for. each based on different volumes of housing starts. no action may be required. When a trigger point is identified as having been reached. the possibility of a need for a change in main-line assumptions should be noted. No precipitant action should be taken. the planning team should be able to identify the factors themselves. current and future needs for staffing on the managerial.conditions. Such a plan would take into account employee The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. Thus. Contingency planning is based on the assumption that the ability to forecast accurately the significant factors that will affect the organization is somewhat limited. As Louis Pasteur once observed. In developing its strategic business model. For example. positive turnaround in the economy that offers the possibility for expansion and growth. a capital-equipment plan. are influenced by a variety of governmental actions. and so on. especially in terms of variations in those factors. Ordinarily. while a large governmental program to subsidize single-family homes would be an opportunity. and so on. supervisory. foreign currency exchange rates. there should be a financial plan. in fact. Higher-level monitoring. and some contingency plan is implemented or some aspect of a strategy is modified. and indicators should be watched. but contingency plans would be developed on the basis of both possibilities. Housing starts. two levels of response should be generated: 1. 2. 2nd Edition. the elimination of mortgage deductions on personal income taxes clearly would be a threat to housing starts. Contingency planning is based on the realization that the old joke about “Plan B” is not really a joke. The strategic business model of the building-materials producer would assume that neither of these two events would be likely to occur. However. At this level. The contingency-planning process also should identify a number of key indicators that will trigger an awareness of the need to reexamine the adequacy of the strategy currently being followed.” Integrating Functional Plans Once the gap analysis has been completed. Action. contingency planning provides the organization with a variety of business modeling strategies that can be used with a variety of scenarios. employment. “Chance favors the prepared mind. and the planning team agrees that the gap between the strategic business model and the organization’s capacity is a manageable one. planning should be delegated to functional units of the organization. in turn. a marketing plan. production. However. a human resources plan.

The integration of the functional plans involves putting together all the pieces in order to ascertain how the overall plan will work and where the potential trouble spots are. and what the impact of the gaps might be on the successful execution of the strategic business model. Each step of the strategic planning process has implementation considerations and each should be addressed during that stage. staffing needs. The final implementation involves the initiation of the several action plans designed at the functional level and their integration at the top of the organization. involve new construction. not held until the final implementation phase. The mission statement should be distributed for comments and suggestions before it is accepted. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . and the functional plans cannot be implemented until integration and checking occurs. and would include contingency plans. Implementation and Implementation Considerations Although implementation is the final step of the model. mission. The planning team then will identify the gaps in and between the combined plans.turnover. how these can be closed. 2nd Edition. because once the model is developed and plans are made. Each plan developed by a functional group in the organization also must be understood and agreed to by each of the other functional groups in the organization. This process often is difficult. and so on. need a new computer program. marketing of new products or services. Most of this integration should occur in the budgetary process. and strategic business model of the organization so that all plans are developed with the same overall objectives and assumptions. This check may reveal a need for further clarification of the values. All parts of the organization should feel that there is activity on all levels of 380 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. not postponed until the final implementation phase. Several departments simultaneously may require the services of the graphics department. There are implementation aspects of the planning-to-plan process. If the values audit identifies incongruous values in segments of the organization. This may. or produce something that requires the support of the sales staff or the mailing department. initiation of management development or technical training. there is a continual need for implementation throughout the planning process. these need to be addressed as soon as they are identified. It is imperative that each of the functional units within the organization understands the impact of such competition and agrees to the planned allocation of resources both to itself and to the other functional units. and costs. for example. All these actions have timing and budget implications as well. Each unit’s functional plan must be checked against the organizational values audit and mission statement to determine whether the proposed actions and directions are consistent with what the organization has said it wants to be. recruitment and training programs. and no further planning should be done until there is consensus on the mission statement. achieve the planned growth. each part of the organization begins to compete for limited resources in order to attain its objectives. increased research and development. and so on.

among the factors to be considered as part of the internal organizational environment are the structure of the company. how the industry is financed. Predicting how each of these areas might affect the organization over time is an essential part of the strategic planning process. and so on. It is foolhardy and unrealistic to assume that economic conditions.the organization that will bring about the successful completion of the organization’s mission. both internal and external to the organization. and the organization’s internal environment. the competitive environment. and so on. Four separate but overlapping environments. The most important test of implementation. and the typical marketing strategies of the industry. research and development. competition in the marketplace. should be monitored: the macro environment. Factors to be considered as part of the macro-environmental-scanning process include social factors such as demographics. CONCLUSION Organizations need strategic planning because the world changes constantly. in particular. the degree of governmental presence. one that needs to be considered in each phase. A strategic plan is being implemented when the initial response of a manager confronted by a decision is to consider whether an answer is found in the organization’s strategic plan. organizations need to be aware of what is happening in their environments that might affect them. its history. is the degree to which organizational members. In fact. consumer needs and expectations. or a host of other factors will be the same two. or five years from now as they are today. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . These should be surveyed in depth to contribute to planning to plan. Although guidelines for every decision will not be provided by the planning process. A strategic planning process is a systematic effort by an organization to deal with the inevitability of change and to „‚ 381 The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. the strategic business model. the typical products used in the industry. to be considered as part of the strategic planning process. The environmental scanning process also will identify a variety of factors. technological factors such as the largescale use of microcomputers. and this is especially true during the planning process. especially managers. Environmental Scanning Throughout their existence. economic factors such as interest rates. and its distinctive strengths and weaknesses. consideration of the plan as a first step is the best evidence of the plan’s implementation. the values audit. and political factors such as increasing governmental deregulation. 2nd Edition. integrate the strategic plan into their everyday management decisions. The competitiveenvironment scan includes consideration of competitor profiles. however. three. market-segmentation patterns. Among the factors to be considered as part of the industry environment are the structure of the industry. Finally. the industry environment. one of the extra benefits of strategic planning is that the organization gains a better understanding of how environmental scanning should be done.

Applied strategic planning: A how to do it guide. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. M. This truly is Applied Strategic Planning. Strategic planning: What every manager should know.E. J. G.W. Pfeiffer.D. (1982).A. (1973). especially during the values audit. Goodstein. Top management strategy: What it is and how to make it work.. in both content and in process. Corporate cultures: The rites and rituals of corporate life.. an activity that provides criteria for making important day-to-day decisions in organizations. J. (1980). T. A. (1977). L.W. Levitt. It also defines an important function for the HRD professional in the strategic planning process. San Diego. The Applied Strategic Planning Model presented in this article is markedly different from others. Steiner. the involvement of key members of the organization. Tregoe. The differences lie primarily in the attention paid to the psychological aspects of the process. (1986). In On management (Reprints from Harvard Business Review).A. New York: Free Press.attempt to envision its own future. the examination of the social and psychological underpinnings of the organization. and in the emphasis on proactive futuring in the development of the strategic business model. 382 ‚„ The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. (1979). New York: Free Press. 2nd Edition. T. B. New York: Simon & Schuster. and the ongoing awareness of the need for implementation throughout the planning process produce a broader and yet more detailed.N. New York: Harper & Row. T. MA: Addison-Wesley.. the constant environmental surveillance. Finally. REFERENCES Deal. & Nolan. & Zimmerman.. Rokeach. This model also is more process oriented than the others now found in the literature. Marketing myopia. more immediately applicable plan than that which results from using other models. The importance of this process is that it enables an organization to help to shape its own future rather than to simply prepare for the future. & Kennedy. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . Reading. It pays more attention to how the planning process works and less attention to the plan that the process generates.B. in the importance of the mission formulation. The nature of human values.

But an employeeinvolvement effort in today’s terms necessitates a fundamental shift in attitude from viewing employees as workers who need to be prodded toward viewing them. but more often than not we hear comments such as “Threefourths of all such efforts fail”. by and large. The occasional success story whets our appetite. We know that the resources of each individual employee need to be used as fully as possible. “We tried small employee groups at our company and they bombed”. people join. companies have always hoped to derive the most from the time and talents of their employees. 2nd Edition. On the contrary. instead. adaptations of Japanese quality circles do not seem to be the answer for most organizations. Supervisors and their subordinates do not want to be in conflict or experience adversarial situations at work. From direct experience with some fifty organizations and the second-hand reports of more than four hundred companies over the last several years—noting both stark failures and striking successes—the author has formulated twelve guidelines for achieving success in an Originally published in The 1987 Annual: Developing Human Resources by J.” At one level. However. The Pfeiffer Library Volume 20. The economic sense of this goal is clear to everyone. just as is the fact that it makes for a better work environment. William Pfeiffer (Ed.” Paradoxes abound. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Modern employee involvement is based on attempting to use employees’ talents and experience for the greatest possible good of the company. Similarly. San Diego. The first step toward success in an employee-involvement effort is to define what is meant by the term “employee involvement. There is ample support for the notion that people have pride of craft.). they have many goals in common. the notion that the goal can be accomplished is not at all clear. or “Employee-involvement groups seemed to work for a while but they don’t even exist in our company now. Nobody joins a company in order to do poorly. employees have always been involved merely by virtue of being employed.„‚ WHY EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT OFTEN FAILS AND WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED Bob Crosby Just as one was bombarded a few years ago with enthusiasm about employee involvement efforts—such as those in connection with Japanese quality circles—today one is bombarded with stories of the failures of such efforts. nor is it obvious how to go about accomplishing it. they want to do quality work and achieve a high sense of self-esteem. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer „‚ 383 . but U. with good intentions.S. as people with valued skills who want to do excellent work and to contribute to the wellbeing of their companies.

employee involvement also must be implemented in an environment of making results happen rather than finding fault or blaming. Ideally. With this approach. The importance of employee involvement is measured by how seriously it is integrated into the ongoing structure of the company. In a results-oriented environment. 2. any employee-involvement effort must make economic sense. 2nd Edition. The process of involvement is intended to use fully the talents and experience of everyone. The process begins when top managers have learned how to deal with the tough issues they face with their bosses as well as the tough issues they face with the people beneath them in the hierarchy. anything can be discussed with quick feedback and minimal defensiveness. Before the involvement effort moves to hourly wage earners. and that it is not simply another program being tried but. COMMIT TO TOTAL INVOLVEMENT. rather. 1.” the effort cannot succeed. AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY The terms in which employee involvement is discussed are critical.employee-involvement effort. thereby negating the notion that an adversarial relationship is a natural one. and front-line supervisors are allowed to experience success before they are asked to enable their subordinates to have similar successes. a new way of life for the company. In addition. USE A TOP-DOWN STRATEGY Beginning at the top of the organizational hierarchy when implementing employee involvement is a strategy that sets up a success-oriented cycle. Companies that do not know how to shift from focusing on what is wrong to focusing on identifying opportunities need to seek help from consultants who can help them make this shift. top management. top and middle management have already witnessed and experienced its potential for success. An employee-involvement effort done well is productive. Those at the top can demonstrate that the effort is for everyone. A POSITIVE OUTLOOK. that it also creates a better and more humane work place is an added benefit. simply holding an orientation session with the top people in a company to announce an employee-involvement effort for hourly wage earners does not work. Copyright © 1998 Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer . This leads to searching for new